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Modality and modal verbs in contrast: Mapping out a translation(ally) relevant approach English-Spanish

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Abstract:

This paper addresses the question of how English and Spanish encode the modal meanings of possibility and necessity. English modals and Spanish modal periphrases emerge as ‘cross-linguistic equivalents’ in this area. Data from two monolingual ‘comparable’ corpora — the Bank of English and CREA — reveal (i) differences in grammatical conceptualization in the English and the Spanish traditions and (ii) the relative inadequacy of classifications of modality for a translation-oriented contrast in this area. An English-Spanish contrastive map of the semantics (and expressive means) of modality will be an effective way to make relevant and accurate cross-linguistic information available. It is also the first step towards identifying potential translation pitfalls.

Keywords: corpus-based contrast; modality; translation English-Spanish

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1075/lic.6.2.04rab

Affiliations: University of León, Spain

Publication date: January 1, 2006

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  • International Journal for Contrastive Linguistics

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