Woorden in het vreemde-talenonderwijs
  • ISSN 0169-7420
  • E-ISSN: 2213-4883
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Especially from the viewpoint of one who translates texts from one language into another, it is obvious that interlinguistic one-to-one correspondences of lexical words are rather hard to find. The first and foremost circumstance that accounts for this phenomenon is that speakers of different languages conceptualize reality in different ways. Even if one subscribes to the hypothesis that there is a universal stock of semantic features by means of which designata can be analysed, it remains true that languages differ considerably with regard to which features their speakers consider relevant to situations, and which not. Thus seemingly corresponding words may have different designata, to the degree that translation requires a clear contextual setting according to which equivalence relationships can be established.Polysemy, hyponymy and synonymy have largely differing distributions even in affiliated languages. A polysemous SL lexeme may require the coice of a TL lexeme which is not its immediate correspondent according to the bilingual dictionary. Conceptual synonyms (or, rather, quasi-synonyms) should be dealt with suspiciously, since differences in connotation, mode or register may necessitate the use of one term to the exclusion of the other. Even semantically equivalent terms may show different grammatical behaviours in SL and TL in that, for example, the TL imposes selection restrictions on a given term which do not apply to its correspondent term in the SL. Further complications may derive from collocational differences between languages. Finally, quite a lot of interlinguistic lexical anisomorphy, is due to differences in culture and social conventions - even to the extent that semantically and pragmatically corresponding expressions take on astonishingly deviant forms.In order that they may account for these differences translation didactics as well as foreign language teaching can rely on models which have been elaborated by certain present-day disciplines whose concern is the study of linguistic phenomena. Thus componential analysis still provides a sound basis for comparative lexical analysis, while the theory of speech acts and Permyako's 'paremiological model' explain how semantic and pragmatic invariance goes hand in hand with socio-cultural variability.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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