German modal particles - from lice in the fur of our language to manifestations of translators' styles

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    Abstract

    The present paper comprises a study of how the German word class of modal
    10 particles can be indicative of translator style. German modal particles as a word
    class are described in detail and I take stock of the research on this linguistic
    feature that moved into the centre of researchers’ interest in the late 1960s and
    continues to be a topic of controversial debate. I show how corpus methodologies
    are useful in the identification and analysis of modal particles and provide a case
    15 study based on an electronic corpus that consists of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s novel
    The Beautiful and Damned and its two translations into German by Hans-Christian
    Oeser and Renate Orth-Guttmann, both published in 1998. A quantitative
    analysis reveals usage patterns of modal particles applied by each translator, as
    well as preferences of each translator for individual modal particles. A qualitative
    20 analysis with a focus on the modal particle wohl shows how it can be used to shift
    the point of view, explicitate the relationship between characters etc. and how
    these strategies affect the macrolevel of the translated novel.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)427-445
    JournalPerspectives: Studies in Translatology
    Early online date7 Aug 2012
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2013

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