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Current Issues in Italian, Romance and Germanic Non-canonical Word Orders

Syntax – Information Structure – Discourse Organization


Anna-Maria De Cesare and Davide Garassino

This volume aims at offering an up-to-date survey on non-canonical word orders and their interplay with information structure and discourse organization. The contributions analyze different non-canonical syntactic structures (fronting, inversion, dislocations, and cleft constructions), focusing on Italian alone or on Italian in a contrastive perspective with one or more Romance (French, Romanian, Portuguese, Spanish) and/or Germanic (English and German) languages. The authors tackle the main issue of the volume from a variety of perspectives and by relying on different theoretical frameworks. At the same time, they all offer a fine-grained description of the structures analyzed on the basis of a solid empirical foundation.
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I am (not) scared of left dislocations The rendering of the structure in the French and English translations of Niccolò Ammaniti’s novel I am not scared


Abstract: In this paper we analyse the translation of left dislocations in the French and English versions of the Italian novel I am not scared by Niccolò Ammaniti. Our objectives are: (i) to observe the unvaried elements and the translation shifts that pertain to left dislocation; (ii) to discriminate between optional shifts determined by stylistic, ideological or cultural choices made by the translators, and mandatory shifts imposed by differences in the linguistic systems; (iii) to reconstruct the factors that determined the optional shifts; (iv) to describe the effects produced by the shifts in the construction on the text. Our analysis confirms differences in usage frequency, diamesic specialization and privileged form realizations of the structure in the three languages. It also sheds light on some aspects that deserve further attention. In particular, the apparent preference in French to mark contrastiveness through dislocation.

1    Preliminary remarks

In this paper we intend to analyse the translation of left dislocations in the French version (henceforth, FRV) and the English version (henceforth, ENV) of the Italian novel I am not scared by Niccolò Ammaniti (henceforth, OV).1 This represents a contrastive analysis whose interest “[…] ne réside pas uniquement dans la possibilité de comparer plusieurs langues: une perspective contrastive permet également de révéler certains détails d’une langue qui n’auraient pas été découverts autrement” (Rawoens 2008: 272). The analysis finds its own justification in the differences left dislocation seems to present in the three languages here...

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