Linguistics and the Human Sciences, Vol 12, No 2-3 (2016)

Local recontextualization in Chinese-English court decisions translation: A corpus-based study of the recontextualization of nominal groups with de

Wu Qijing
Issued Date: 24 Apr 2019


Local recontextualization refers to the change in the contextualization of grammatical units at the rank of the word group. It provides a description of the local environment for meaning reconfiguration, and thus plays a key role in the translation of court decisions. Through a purpose-built parallel corpus of Chinese court decisions and their English translations, this study explores the recontextualization of Chinese nominal groups with de based on the analysis of their multivariate structures and the meaning of functional elements providing their (re)contextualization. By comparing the differences in contextualization and recontextualization of nominal groups, this study reveals that nominal groups tend to be contextualized by the Qualifier and the Deictic in Chinese court decisions, and re-contextualized by the Deictic and the Thing in their English translations. In most of the nominal groups, the functional elements with contextualizing roles focus on both experiential meaning and interpersonal meaning while those with recontextualizing roles contribute more to the experiential meaning. The reasons that account for these differences between contextualization and recontextualization of nominal groups from linguistic and legal cultural perspectives are provided.

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DOI: 10.1558/lhs.36995


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