Volume 15, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0924-1884
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9986
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At present, there are few attempts to provide external explanations for the patterns subsumed under the heading of ‘translation universal’. In this paper, I discuss the possible cognitive basis for the patterns/processes that have been variously referred to as simplification/generalization, normalization, standardization, sanitization, and exaggeration of target language features. The framework that I adopt is that of cognitive grammar, and my claim is that all of the above arise from the existence of asymmetries in the cognitive organization of semantic information. I also propose that the converse case is true: cases involving a lack of conspicuous cognitive asymmetries will demonstrate the opposite effect in translated text. In closing, I place the argument in a larger perspective by adopting Croft’s (1990) scalar notion of generalization in a discussion of explanation in translation studies.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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