n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Contrastive functional analysis as a starting point for corpus-based translation studies (CTS) : methodological considerations for analysing small translational corpora : parallel / bilingual corpora

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



The aim of this article is to show the benefits of working with relatively small but carefully designed corpora of texts specifically selected for the purposes of a given study, and also to put forward a research paradigm for corpus-based translation studies (CTS) based on contrastive linguistics. The theoretical framework is contrastive functional analysis (CFA), a methodology based on meaning and looking at the ways in which meaning is expressed in a pair of languages (Chesterman 1998). For the purposes of the present article and, more generally, translation studies and CTS, a distinction is also made between translation-mediated texts and original (parallel) texts, as well as between professional and trainee translations. The article also advocates what may be called an eclectic approach to corpus studies: an initial, contrastive analysis is conducted on relatively small corpora of texts (cf., e.g. Malmkjñr 1998) and larger corpora are used at a later stage of the analysis to verify statistically the findings of the initial study and thus to objectify the final results.

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