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Marked Word Order [Was: Test sentences]

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  • Arthaey Angosii
    ... The unmarked word order for English would be, of course, The smallest boy jumped up. What is your take on preserving a marked word order when translating
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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      On http://www.fiziwig.com/gsfa_1.txt, sentence #20 says:
      > Up jumped the smallest boy.

      The unmarked word order for English would be, of course, "The smallest
      boy jumped up." What is your take on preserving a marked word order
      when translating into another language?

      I only took enough introductory linguistics courses in college to
      quality for a minor, so we didn't cover any thorough treatment of
      market word order except to point out that it exists.


      Thanks,
      AA
    • Jim Henry
      ... It would depend on what the default and alternate available word orders are in the target language, and what emphasis or topicalization or whatever seems
      Message 2 of 2 , Dec 1, 2008
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        On Mon, Dec 1, 2008 at 1:53 PM, Arthaey Angosii <arthaey@...> wrote:
        > On http://www.fiziwig.com/gsfa_1.txt, sentence #20 says:
        >> Up jumped the smallest boy.
        >
        > The unmarked word order for English would be, of course, "The smallest
        > boy jumped up." What is your take on preserving a marked word order
        > when translating into another language?

        It would depend on what the default and alternate
        available word orders are in the target language,
        and what emphasis or topicalization or whatever
        seems to be implied by the marked word order
        in the source language, I reckon. Here, I'm thinking
        the English sentence is topicalizing or otherwise
        emphasizing the verb: *jumping up* is what the
        smallest boy did. And maybe there's an implication
        of suddenness that isn't present in "The smallest
        boy jumped up"? It might depend on the context.

        In gzb I would probably translate that by using
        the normal word order (VS) but postposing an emphasis
        particle after the verb or verb + adverb phrase:

        bly-ca ķǒ-so vǒm mâ-ĵĭn-vĭ ny-sra.
        ballistic-V.REFL DIR-up indeed person-young-male small-COMP

        or maybe with {θǒ} in place of {vǒm} to
        indicate a suddenness of the action.

        In Esperanto, which has flexible word order
        and the same default order as English, I would
        translate pretty straightforwardly:

        Suprensaltis la plej eta knabo.

        That seems to imply suddenness at least
        as much as the English version.

        In Toki Pona, where there's very little word-order
        flexiblity, I would again use an emphasis particle:

        jan pi lili mute li tawa sewi kin.
        person of smallness much SEP go up EMPH

        --
        Jim Henry
        http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/
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