Volume 20, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
Buy:$35.00 + Taxes



The aim of this article is to shed new light on the use and translation of English and Swedish questions in fiction by using a combination of parallel and comparable corpus data extracted from the bidirectional English-Swedish Parallel Corpus. In particular, the study examines questions containing a question mark (QMquestions) categorised into -interrogatives, polar interrogatives, alternative questions, tag questions (including those with invariant tags), declarative questions, -fragments and non--fragments. The parallel analysis shows that most QMquestion types are more often translated congruently into English than into Swedish. The focus is on types with low mutual correspondence scores: fragments, tag questions and declarative questions. The comparable analyses concern both bilingual contrasts between the original texts and monolingual contrasts between the translation and original subcorpora in both languages. The bilingual analysis aligns with several preliminary findings in the parallel analysis, e.g. the favouring of tag questions and some types of -fragments in English. The monolingual analysis reveals both over- and underuse in translations and points to a strong effect of source-language influence.


Article metrics loading...

Loading full text...

Full text loading...


  1. Aijmer, K.
    1996 Swedish Modal Particles in a Contrastive Perspective. Language Sciences18(1–2): 393–427. 10.1016/0388‑0001(96)00027‑7
    https://doi.org/10.1016/0388-0001(96)00027-7 [Google Scholar]
  2. 2007a The Meaning and Functions of the Swedish Discourse Marker alltså: Evidence from Translation Corpora. Catalan Journal of Linguistics6: 31–59. 10.5565/rev/catjl.123
    https://doi.org/10.5565/rev/catjl.123 [Google Scholar]
  3. 2007b Translating Discourse Particles: A Case of Complex Translation. InIncorporating Corpora: The Linguist and the Translator, G. Anderman and M. Rogers (eds), 95–115. Clevedon: Multilingual Matters. 10.21832/9781853599873‑009
    https://doi.org/10.21832/9781853599873-009 [Google Scholar]
  4. 2015 The Swedish Modal Particle väl in a Contrastive Perspective. Nordic Journal of English Studies14(1): 174–200. 10.35360/njes.344
    https://doi.org/10.35360/njes.344 [Google Scholar]
  5. Altenberg, B.
    1999 Adverbial Connectors in English and Swedish: Semantic and Lexical Correspondences. InOut of Corpora: Studies in Honour of Stig Johansson, H. Hasselgård and S. Oksefjell (eds), 249–268. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
    [Google Scholar]
  6. Altenberg, B. , Aijmer, K. and Svensson, M.
    2001The English-Swedish Parallel Corpus (ESPC): Manual of Enlarged Version. Available athttps://sprak.gu.se/digitalAssets/1333/1333431_manual_espc.pdf [last accessed21 April 2020].
    [Google Scholar]
  7. Axelsson, K.
    2006 Tag Questions in English Translations from Swedish and Norwegian – Are there Differences?InSvenska som källspråk och målspråk: Aspekter på översättningsvetenskap [Swedish as Source and Target Language: Aspects on Translation Studies], B. Englund Dimitrova and H. Landqvist (eds), 4–21. Göteborg: Göteborgs universitet.
    [Google Scholar]
  8. 2009 Tag Questions in Translations between English and Swedish. InNorthern Lights: Translation in the Nordic Countries, B. J. Epstein (ed.), 81–106. Oxford: Peter Lang.
    [Google Scholar]
  9. 2011 Tag Questions in Fiction Dialogue. PhD Thesis, University of Gothenburg. Available athdl.handle.net/2077/24047
  10. 2016 Man kan använda påhängsfrågor också på svenska, kan man’te? [One can Use Tag Questions also in Swedish, can’t one?]. Paper presented at Svenskans beskrivning [The Description of Swedish] 35. Gothenburg, Sweden, 11–13 May 2016. Available athttps://svenskansbeskrivning35.files.wordpress.com/2015/06/axelsson.pdf
    [Google Scholar]
  11. Baker, M.
    1996 Corpus-Based Translation Studies: The Challenges that Lie ahead. InTerminology, LSP and Translation: Studies in Language Engineering in Honour of J. C. Sager, H. Sommers (ed.), 175–186. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/btl.18.17bak
    https://doi.org/10.1075/btl.18.17bak [Google Scholar]
  12. Biber, D. , Johansson, S. , Leech, G. , Conrad, S. and Finegan, E.
    1999Longman Grammar of Spoken and Written English. Harlow: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  13. Buysse, L.
    2017 An Investigation into the Translatability of English Question Tags into Dutch. Languages in Contrast17(2): 157–182. 10.1075/lic.17.2.01buy
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lic.17.2.01buy [Google Scholar]
  14. Chicago Manual of Style
    Chicago Manual of Style (17th ed.) 2017 Chicago: The University of Chicago Press. 10.7208/cmos17
  15. Curry, N. and Chambers, A.
    2017 Questions in English and French Research Articles in Linguistics: A Corpus-Based Contrastive Analysis. Corpus Pragmatics1(4): 327–350. 10.1007/s41701‑017‑0012‑0
    https://doi.org/10.1007/s41701-017-0012-0 [Google Scholar]
  16. Downing, A.
    2001 “Surely you knew!”: Surely as a Marker of Evidentiality and Stance. Functions of Language8(2): 251–282. 10.1075/fol.8.2.05dow
    https://doi.org/10.1075/fol.8.2.05dow [Google Scholar]
  17. Frankenberg-Garcia, A.
    2019 A Corpus Study of Splitting and Joining Sentences in Translation. Corpora14(1): 1–30. 10.3366/cor.2019.0159
    https://doi.org/10.3366/cor.2019.0159 [Google Scholar]
  18. Gómez González, M. Á.
    2014 Canonical Tag Questions in English, Spanish and Portuguese. Languages in Contrast14(1): 93–126. 10.1075/lic.14.1.06gom
    https://doi.org/10.1075/lic.14.1.06gom [Google Scholar]
  19. Holmes, J.
    1982 The Functions of Tag Questions. English Language Research Journal3: 40–65.
    [Google Scholar]
  20. Holmes, P. and Hinchliffe, I.
    2013Swedish: A Comprehensive Grammar (3rd ed.). Abingdon: Routledge. 10.4324/9780203381670
    https://doi.org/10.4324/9780203381670 [Google Scholar]
  21. Huddleston, R.
    1994 The Contrast between Interrogatives and Questions. Journal of Linguistics30(2): 411–439. 10.1017/S0022226700016704
    https://doi.org/10.1017/S0022226700016704 [Google Scholar]
  22. Huddleston, R. and Pullum, G. K.
    2002The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/9781316423530
    https://doi.org/10.1017/9781316423530 [Google Scholar]
  23. Johansson, S.
    2007Seeing through Multilingual Corpora: On the Use of Corpora in Contrastive Studies. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. 10.1075/scl.26
    https://doi.org/10.1075/scl.26 [Google Scholar]
  24. Levinson, S. C.
    2012 Interrogative Intimations: On a Possible Social Economics of Interrogatives. InQuestions: Formal, Functional and Interactional Perspectives, J. de Ruiter (ed.), 11–33. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. 10.1017/CBO9781139045414.003
    https://doi.org/10.1017/CBO9781139045414.003 [Google Scholar]
  25. Malá, M.
    2008 Czech Negative Polar Questions and their English Counterparts in a Parallel Corpus of Czech and English. InGrammar and Corpora. Gramatik a korpus 2007, F. Sticha and M. Fried (eds), 261–270. Prague: Academia.
    [Google Scholar]
  26. 2010 English Declarative yes/no Questions as Seen through their Czech Counterparts. Acta Universitatis Carolinae. Philologica: Prague Studies in English1: 141–151.
    [Google Scholar]
  27. Norrby, C.
    2006 Variation in Swedish Address Practices. Australian Review of Applied Linguistics29(2): 18.1–18.15. 10.2104/aral0618
    https://doi.org/10.2104/aral0618 [Google Scholar]
  28. Quirk, R. , Greenbaum, S. , Leech, G. and Svartvik, J.
    1985A Comprehensive Grammar of the English Language. Harlow: Longman.
    [Google Scholar]
  29. Siemund, P.
    2017 Interrogative Clauses in English and the Social Economics of Questions. Journal of Pragmatics119: 15–32. 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.07.010
    https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.07.010 [Google Scholar]
  30. Språkrådet [The Language Council of Sweden]
    Språkrådet [The Language Council of Sweden] 2017Svenska skrivregler [Swedish Writing Rules] (4th ed.). Stockholm: Liber.
    [Google Scholar]
  31. Teleman, U. , Hellberg, S. and Andersson, E.
    1999Svenska Akademiens grammatik [The Grammar of the Swedish Academy]. Vol.4: Satser och meningar [Clauses and Sentences]). Stockholm: Svenska Akademien.
    [Google Scholar]
  32. Wikberg, K.
    1996 Questions in English and Norwegian: Evidence from the English-Norwegian Parallel Corpus. InSynchronic Corpus Linguistics: Papers from the Sixteenth International Conference on English Language Research on Computerized Corpora (ICAME 16), C. E. Percy , C. F. Meyer and I. Lancashire (eds), 17–28. Amsterdam: Rodopi.
    [Google Scholar]

Data & Media loading...

  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): comparable corpora; English/Swedish; mutual correspondence; parallel corpora; questions
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was successful
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error