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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>


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 8: Conclusions




8.1 Overview

This study has made a corpus-based, linguistic, descriptive and explanatory examination of nominalization in English translations of Chinese literary prose works mainly based on the three English versions of the eighteen-century Chinese novel Hong Long Meng.

This study was theoretically motivated by the under-balanced workings of explicitation and implicitation in translation. Explicitation, as a potential candidate for the status of translation universals, has been claimed as ‘one of the most thoroughly studied phenomena in translation studies’ (Perego 2003: 68). Implicitation, however, was treated as a stepbrother of explicitation in the sense that it was mentioned incidentally and only limited research has been undertaken with it as a main objective of study.

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