Information Structure in Parallel Texts
  • ISSN 1387-6759
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9897
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In this paper it is shown that parallel concordancing represents an efficient means of explicating the grammaticalization level of linguistic forms. One progressive form in Norwegian and the progressive in Spanish are found to be translationally equivalent in some contexts but not in others. In addition, the degree of overlap of the two constructions is seen to vary with the direction of the translation, i.e. the Norwegian progressive is more often translated by a Spanish progressive than vice versa. These results correspond neatly to the part of grammaticalization theory which emphasizes the relation between the general meaning of a form, the widening of distribution and the increase in frequency.; The general meaning of the Spanish progressive gives it a wider distribution and a higher frequency than the Norwegian progressive. Corresponding results are also found in a test case comparing the Norwegian and the English progressives. Parallel concordancing thus strengthens the claim based on monolingual studies that this Norwegian progressive is partially but not totally grammaticalized. The parallel concordancing method has the additional advantage that the contexts determining when the forms are translationally equivalent can be read off directly from the concordances.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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