Latin Absolute Constructions and Their Old English Equivalents

Olga Timofeeva

in Information Structure and Syntactic Change in the History of English

Published in print June 2012 | ISBN: 9780199860210
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199949601 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Studies in the History of English

Latin Absolute Constructions and Their Old English Equivalents

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This chapter uses a comparative corpus of Latin texts and their Old English translations to examine the interplay between the information structure of Latin absolute participial constructions and that of their Old English renderings. It attempts to establish relationships between the semantics of absolute constructions, their functional thematic/rhematic role in communication, the order of the main and absolute clauses in a sentence, text cohesion, and the kind of impact these factors have on individual translation solutions. It is shown that the source information structure is normally carried over into the target texts, even though individual translation solutions vary from extensive restructuring of the target text to complete omission of the source constructions; while text cohesion can be maintained both by Latinate syntactic means and by expanding or abbreviating the source constructions.

Keywords: Latin texts; Old English; information structure; absolute participial constructions

Chapter.  6361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Linguistics

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