Using recurrent word-combinations to explore cross-linguistic differences

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The present study explores phraseological differences between English and Norwegian on the basis of a bidirectional parallel corpus, viz. The English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus. The investigation starts from lists of recurrent three-word combinations in English and Norwegian original and translated fiction texts. The paper discusses methodological issues related to using recurrent word-combinations as a point of departure for contrastive studies. Three case studies arise from observed differences between original and translated texts, as they emerged from the lists. The results point to constructional, semantic and pragmatic differences between the languages. Moreover, the studies suggest that the bootstrapping method applied may point to cross-linguistic differences that might elude traditional contrastive corpus investigations.


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