|9.00-10.00||Juan Sun (Sun Yat-sen University) & Cristina Grisot (University of Zürich)||Using corpus linguistics methods to study the expression of temporal reference in Mandarin and the translation of English and French verb tenses|
|10.00-10.30||Short presentation by the Time in Translation team followed by discussion.|
|10.30-11.00||General discussion, exploration of options for future research.|
Using corpus linguistics methods to study the expression of temporal reference in Mandarin and the translation of English and French verb tenses
Adopting the view that Mandarin is a tenseless language (i.e. it lacks overt tense marking), we raise two research questions: (1) in the absence of verb tenses, what are the means used in Mandarin to express temporal reference, and (2) how are English and French verb tenses translated into Mandarin. To address these issues, we use multilingual translation corpora and methods from the field of corpus linguistics, such as translation spotting (the identification of a translation equivalent in a parallel corpus), data coding (involving no metalinguistic judgement) and data annotation (involving metalinguistic judgement). For this, we built three sets of parallel corpora (French → Mandarin, Mandarin → French and English → Mandarin), manually enriched them with surface features (e.g. verb tense, temporal adverbs and adverbials, aspectual particles, etc.), and with deep features (e.g. lexical aspect, temporal localization of situations). Our quantitative analyses brought into light what are the similar and the dissimilar cross-linguistic lexical and grammatical categories that play a role in the expression of temporal reference.