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Detail of contribution

Auteur: Martina NICKLAUS

French and Italian translations of German nur/allein in literary texts

Abstract/Résumé: Oral presentation In German the adv. "nur" (syn. "allein") probably is the most frequently employed device to express restrictive quantification. By using "nur" speakers present one alternative out of a set of alternatives as the relevant one. If defining focus as contrastive focus (Umbach 2001), "nur" can be considered one of the focus-sensitive elements of German (Musan 2010:43). "Nur" in spoken discourse may focus single lexical units or whole phrases, according to stress: Er SINGT nur. ('He only sings' ... and does not dance, in the musical.) Er SINGT NUR. ('He is only singing' ... but he should prepare for his exams.) As can be seen in the second sentence, where singing is considered the less reasonable alternative, "nur" may assume a scalar value (Manzotti 1984:52, König 1991:37-42). In written language, when using "nur" the author must ascertain that the previous co-text can activate a set of alternatives. This means by using "nur" the writer establishes anaphorical relations and in doing so he contributes to textual coherence. In literary narrative such effects are crucial, they are part of the author’s style and are part of the characteristics of the text type. Underestimating these effects of the source text in translation might affect the homogeneity and even the readability of the target text ("expectancy norms", Chesterman 1997:81-84). The talk will consist of two parts: first the focusing and restrictive effects of "nur"/"allein" and the presumed French and Italian equivalents "seul" etc. and "solo" etc. will be described. In a second step, it will be discussed how diverging focusing and restrictive effects of these units have to be taken into account in translation – as well as syntax and verbalizing preferences (Boase-Beier 2011:155, 156; Blumenthal 1982; Catalani 1993:53). Blumenthal, P. 1982: "Satzmuster im Deutschen und Italienischen", in: Welte, W. (ed.), Sprachtheorie und angewandte Linguistik, Tübingen (Narr):147-159 Boase-Beier, J. 2011: "Stylistics and translation", in: Gambier, Y./van Dorslaer, L. (eds): Handbook of Translation studies, vol. 2, Amsterdam (Benjamins):153-56 Catalani, L. 1993: Die Stellung der Satzelemente im Deutschen und im Italienischen, Frankfurt/M. (Lang) Chesterman, A. 1997: Memes of Translation, Amsterdam (Benjamins) Umbach, C. 2001: "Restriktion der Alternativen", Linguistische Arbeitsberichte 77:165-98 Musan, R. 2010: Informationsstruktur, Heidelberg (Winter) König, E. 1991: The Meaning of Focus Particles: A Comparative Perspective, London/New York (Routledge) Manzotti, E. 1984: "Costrutti esclusivi e restrittivi in italiano", Vox Romanica 43:50-80