n Language Matters : Studies in the Languages of Southern Africa - Apposition markers and explicitation : a corpus-based study : comparable corpora

Volume 35, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0256-5986



This article analyses the correlation between the use of apposition markers and the realisation of lexical explicitation in discourse. Some claims made on the effects of apposition in discourse seem to indicate that there is a relationship between apposition and explicitation. Explicitation is understood here as a discourse process consisting of restating in a more explicit way information given previously to minimise ambiguity or to guide the addressee in the interpretation of the message. Similarly, `apposition is used to make the message clear to the decoder by avoiding ambiguity' (BJ 3tea 1977, 461) and `apposition is predominantly a relation in which the second unit of the apposition adds specificity to the interpretation of the first one' (Meyer 1992, 73). From the definition of explicitation and the functions of apposition, it appears that the use of apposition might lead to explicitation. This leads us to assume that indicators of apposition may also be indicators of explicitation. The findings indicate that apposition markers are significantly more frequent in the sub-corpus of translated English (Translational English Corpus (TEC)) than in the sub-corpus of non-translated English (British National Corpus (BNC)). Three factors may influence the greater use of apposition markers in the TEC than in the BNC, namely (1) the carrying over in the target text of specific features of the source text, (2) the low level of shared information between the translator and (3) the readership, and the translator's style. This article also suggests that translated English may favour explicitation as a textual strategy compared to non-translated English.

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