Mapping meaning onto form: A corpus-based contrastive study of nominal modification in English and Spanish
This paper is a corpus-based contrastive study of one particular semantic area — the modification of nouns — and the grammatical structures available in English and Spanish to actualize this particular meaning within the scope of the NP. Two large monolingual reference corpora, one in each language, have been used to extract the empirical data on which to base the analysis. A functional approach has been followed, starting from perceived similarities in meaning and trying to reveal the subtle links between particular semantic functions and the structures most commonly employed by native speakers of the two languages to convey those semantic functions. The working procedure will be described in detail, from the data selection process, to the description, juxtaposition and final contrast. This paper presents part of the contrastive results found in a larger study (Ramón 2003), and shows the appropriateness of the methodology employed in order to obtain contrastive data useful in applied areas such as foreign language teaching, and, especially, in the field of translation.
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