A Corpus-Based Study on a Russian Conjunction  ‘and’ and its Equivalent Expressions in English and Mandarin Chinese Translations

  • 阿 遼娜

Student thesis: Master's Thesis


The study aimed: first to investigate functions of a Russian connective i ‘and’ (Cyrillic: ‘’) when used in an inter-clausal and inter-sentential position; second to analyze how these functions are represented in corresponding English and Mandarin Chinese translations While i-structures with coordinate noun phrase constituents have received a lot of attention among Russian and overseas scholars (for example Andreyewsky 1973 Chaves & Paperno 2007 Osborne 2009 Paperno 2012 etc ) this thesis places the main focus on i-coordination of clauses and sentences which has been under-investigated Conjunction i has been claimed to be polysemous and carrying various additional meanings along with its main function of expressing coordinative relations in their pure form (Shvedova et al 1980; Vinogradov 2001) Some scholars argue that assumed polysemy is not a feature of the conjunction itself but rather arises from the surrounding context and other linguistic factors (for instance Sannikov 2008) In either case diversity of possible relations between i-coordinated clauses and sentences cannot be denied and constitutes one of the tasks to be solved by a translator Consequently corpora of two types – monolingual and translation – were examined First we provided an overview of previous accounts on i functions in lexicographic and other sources followed by analysis of a sample from National Corpus of Russian Language in an attempt to finalize previous classifications and gain a full summary of non-classical readings of i Second we investigated Russian-English (by Constance Garnett and by Louise and Aylmer Maude) and Russian-Chinese (by Li Gang and by Chou Yang) translations of Leo Tolstoy’s “Anna Karenina” in order to see how and whether semantic and pragmatic functions of Russian i-constructions were transferred to a target text We are guided by Degand’s (2009) claim that “translation data can be used to gain insight into the meaning of polysemous discourse markers” (p 173) Due to multi-functional and polysemous nature of English and (Caron 1999 Sweet 2005 de Vos 2007 etc ) it is the most frequent equivalent for i to be applied by translators More variety can be observed in Russian-Chinese translation While i in its main function as a simple coordinator is likely to be omitted in translation considering that asyndetic coordination is more preferred in Mandarin Chinese (Eifring 1995) in case when i has an additional meaning conjunctions are added in the target text in order to explicitate implied discourse relations We believe that the results obtained from this study will contribute to a better understanding of Russian i-constructions by teachers and students learning Russian as a second language Our analysis results will also find application in translation studies
Date of Award2015 Jul 27
Original languageEnglish
SupervisorHui-Chi Lee (Supervisor)

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