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A Corpus-Based Study of Nominalization in Translations of Chinese Literary Prose

Three Versions of "Dream of the Red Chamber</I>

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Yu Hou

This corpus-based study investigates the use of nominalization in English translations of Chinese literary prose through the analysis of three English versions of the Chinese novel Hong Lou Meng ( Dream of the Red Chamber).
Previous studies have explored the relevance of the cultural and linguistic positioning of different translators, but thus far no corpus-based study of nominalization has been undertaken in relation to translator style. This book uses quantitative and qualitative analyses of the nominalized transform of finite verbal forms in three Chinese-to-English translations to distinguish between translator styles, concluding that nominalization is a key identifier in translations.
This book provides a comprehensive picture of the use of nominalization in English translations of Chinese literary prose and, more generally, encourages further study into nominalization in translation.
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Chapter 7: NOMs in English translations of Chinese literary prose

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CHAPTER 7

NOMs in English Translations of Chinese Literary Prose

7.1 Quantitative analysis of NOMs in English translations of Chinese literary prose

In the previous sections 6.1–6.3, a summary was made of the NOMs used in the three versions of HLM including its main characteristics and its potentially triggering factors. However, no matter how comprehensive the summary could be, it is still far from representative of the whole picture of the NOM used in English translations of Chinese literary prose. Therefore, it is still necessary to investigate the quantitative use of the NOMs in English translations of other Chinese literary prose works to see whether the patterns of the NOMs used in HLM translations continue or not. Before this, a brief introduction is necessary of the five other English translations of other Chinese literary prose works.

Journey to the West or Xi You Ji, authored by Wu Cheng’en in the sixteenth century, is a fictionalized description of the mythologized legends around the Tang dynasty Buddhist monk Xuanzang’s pilgrimage to India in order to obtain Buddhist sutras. In terms of its two notable English complete versions, Journey to the West (1982–4), translated by W. J. F. Jenner, is more readable without scholarly apparatus while The Journey to the West (1977–83), translated by Anthony Yu, is more scholarly with extensive introduction and notes.

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