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Michaela Martinková
Palacký University
Markéta Janebová
Palacký University
Vol. 5 No. 2 (2019), Articles, pages 77-98
Accepted: Dec 18, 2019
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This study makes a contribution to the discussion of one candidate for a translation universal, i.e. the hypothesis concerning «unique items» (Tirkkonen-Condit 2002, 2004). We address one line of criticism of this hypothesis, namely «problems with defining unique items a priori» (Chesterman 2007, 11). We argue that candidates for «unique items» can be revealed through Johansson’s contrastive method of systematically studying «meaning through translation patterns» in a parallel corpus (Johansson 2007a), especially by comparing correspondences of a polyfunctional or vague item in source and target texts. Having previously investigated the correspondences of the Czech polyfunctional particle prý in English (Martinková and Janebová 2017), we now turn to Spanish. The paper touches upon problems which have to be dealt with in such contrastive parallel corpus-based studies.


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