The use of translations in linguistic argumentation: A case study on Spanish and Portuguese subordinate clauses introduced by para

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Despite obvious interference risks, it has been argued in former studies that translations constitute a useful tool for investigating lexical phenomena. By means of a corpus study on prepositional clauses introduced by para in Spanish and Portuguese, the present paper shows that translations can also be a valuable methodological tool for the study of grammatical phenomena in a given language. The results from both a translation and a comparable Portuguese/Spanish and Spanish/Portuguese corpus are shown to converge and reveal that the inflection of the Portuguese infinitive is used to strengthen thematic continuity, whereas an overt subject appears in cases of inaccessibility within the sentence margins. The present study therefore deepens former accounts on the nature of the Portuguese inflected infinitive and the Spanish and Portuguese para-clauses in general by comparing translations in both languages.


Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: April 1, 2010

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  • International Journal for Contrastive Linguistics
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