Diminutive affixes are a common morphological feature across languages and their denotative function of reducing the referent they are attached to can trigger emotional readings, like affection and endearment, as well as serve as pragmatic mitigators, both as positive and negative politeness markers. The current crosslinguistic study aims at investigating how pragmatically motivated diminutives are translated from Armenian and Italian into Russian, and vice versa. To do so, the analysis has been conducted on the data retrieved from two subcorpora of the Russian National Corpus (NKRJa), namely the Armenian-Russian Parallel Corpus and the Italian-Russian Parallel Corpus, which allow the search for diminutivized words and their translation in a large data set of translated texts. Although all the three languages considered here display diminutive noun morphology, their usage differs accordingly. In Armenian, the diminutive suffixes (-(j)ak, -ek, -(č)ik, -uk) are often used to signal the speaker’s affection, empathy, and psychological proximity towards the listener; in terms of pragmatics, they serve as positive politeness markers only in jocular and poetic contexts. In Italian, diminutive suffixes (e.g., -in-, -ett-) mark a denotative reduction of the referential noun; from a pragmatic perspective, however, they are primarily used in non-serious contexts and are commonly used as mitigating devices in negative politeness. In Russian, the diminutive suffix -#k- and its allomorphs are used in wider contexts and address a variety of emotional situations; negative politeness generally relies on the use of diminutive morphology, especially with reference to time slots (e.g., minut-k-a ‘minute-DIM’). Our analysis focused on diminutivized time references, which are purely pragmatic markers. In particular, we have investigated whether diminutive morphology in the source text was maintained in the target text and, if not, what strategies were used in the target text to maintain the pragmatic value of diminutives. With Russian being a language with wider pragmatic usages of diminutive morphology, Russian original texts and translations into Russian display a larger number of diminutives than Armenian and Italian ones. Diminutivized time references never occur in Armenian texts, and Russian diminutives are translated into Armenian either with the numeral մի [mi] ‘one’ followed by a non-diminutivized time reference or by using a smaller unit of time, as վայրկյան [vajrkjan] ‘second’ for минут-к-а [minut-k-a] ‘a minute-DIM’. In Italian, alongside the non-diminutivized version of the time reference, we have noticed an extensive use of momento ‘moment’, and the maintenance of the diminutive form in Italian, which triggers a non-serious reading though.

TRANSLATING PRAGMATICS: A CORPUS-BASED STUDY ON ARMENIAN, ITALIAN AND RUSSIAN DIMINUTIVES

Artoni, Daniele
;
2023-01-01

Abstract

Diminutive affixes are a common morphological feature across languages and their denotative function of reducing the referent they are attached to can trigger emotional readings, like affection and endearment, as well as serve as pragmatic mitigators, both as positive and negative politeness markers. The current crosslinguistic study aims at investigating how pragmatically motivated diminutives are translated from Armenian and Italian into Russian, and vice versa. To do so, the analysis has been conducted on the data retrieved from two subcorpora of the Russian National Corpus (NKRJa), namely the Armenian-Russian Parallel Corpus and the Italian-Russian Parallel Corpus, which allow the search for diminutivized words and their translation in a large data set of translated texts. Although all the three languages considered here display diminutive noun morphology, their usage differs accordingly. In Armenian, the diminutive suffixes (-(j)ak, -ek, -(č)ik, -uk) are often used to signal the speaker’s affection, empathy, and psychological proximity towards the listener; in terms of pragmatics, they serve as positive politeness markers only in jocular and poetic contexts. In Italian, diminutive suffixes (e.g., -in-, -ett-) mark a denotative reduction of the referential noun; from a pragmatic perspective, however, they are primarily used in non-serious contexts and are commonly used as mitigating devices in negative politeness. In Russian, the diminutive suffix -#k- and its allomorphs are used in wider contexts and address a variety of emotional situations; negative politeness generally relies on the use of diminutive morphology, especially with reference to time slots (e.g., minut-k-a ‘minute-DIM’). Our analysis focused on diminutivized time references, which are purely pragmatic markers. In particular, we have investigated whether diminutive morphology in the source text was maintained in the target text and, if not, what strategies were used in the target text to maintain the pragmatic value of diminutives. With Russian being a language with wider pragmatic usages of diminutive morphology, Russian original texts and translations into Russian display a larger number of diminutives than Armenian and Italian ones. Diminutivized time references never occur in Armenian texts, and Russian diminutives are translated into Armenian either with the numeral մի [mi] ‘one’ followed by a non-diminutivized time reference or by using a smaller unit of time, as վայրկյան [vajrkjan] ‘second’ for минут-к-а [minut-k-a] ‘a minute-DIM’. In Italian, alongside the non-diminutivized version of the time reference, we have noticed an extensive use of momento ‘moment’, and the maintenance of the diminutive form in Italian, which triggers a non-serious reading though.
2023
Italian, Russian, Armenian, diminutives, translation, pragmatics
File in questo prodotto:
File Dimensione Formato  
Artoni DadyanTranslating pragmatics a corpus-based study on Armenian_Italian and Russian diminutives.pdf

solo utenti autorizzati

Licenza: Copyright dell'editore
Dimensione 376.25 kB
Formato Adobe PDF
376.25 kB Adobe PDF   Visualizza/Apri   Richiedi una copia

I documenti in IRIS sono protetti da copyright e tutti i diritti sono riservati, salvo diversa indicazione.

Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11562/1116010
Citazioni
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.pmc??? ND
  • Scopus ND
  • ???jsp.display-item.citation.isi??? ND
social impact