French and Finnish converbal constructions and their translation from French into Finnish

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The term ‘subordination’ is often associated with clause combining by conjunctions marking the linkage, but subordination can also be expressed by other means. Both French and Finnish have nonfinite constructions which can be regarded as subordinate clauses with an “operational dependency” towards the main clause. This is because their temporal, aspectual and modal implication is dependent on the semantics of the main clause. However, “traditional” subordinate clauses have a more explicit syntactic structure, whereas nonfinite constructions are constructionally more complex, different types of information being embedded in the construction. This paper first discusses French and Finnish converbs and their eventual correspondence, and then proceeds to examine six Finnish translations of French literary texts in order to see how translators have interpreted and translated the original French converbs.


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