English It-cleft and Chinese shi...(de) : Translation of The Fellowship of The Ring

by Lee, Chia-hua

Abstract (Summary)
This study investigates the syntactic structures and informational properties of English it-cleft and Chinese shi....(de) structure in the English novel The Fellowship of the Ring and its Chinese translation Å]§Ù­º³¡¦±. In previous studies, Chinese shi...(de) structure is generally regarded as a cleft sentence, and is equivalent to English it-cleft. However, in the present study, examination of it-cleft in the English novel and its Chinese shi...(de) translation supports the observation that Chinese shi...(de) structure is not equivalent to English it-cleft, but should be treated as a predicational sentence (Lambrechet 2008 and Shyu 2008). The data for analysis consist of 208 Chinese shi...(de) entries in the Chinese text and 48 English it-clefts in the English text. The results reveal that the Chinese translation contains a noticeably higher number of shi...(de) structures than the English text contains it-clefts, with the proportion of Chinese shi...(de) structures five times greater than English it-clefts (84.5% vs.19.5%). The discrepancy is ascribed to two reasons. First, Chinese shi...(de) structure is treated as a predicational sentence involving the three focus types: Predicate Focus (PF), Sentence Focus (SF), and Argument Focus (IF) (Lambrecht 1994, 2001). Second, English interrogative construction tends to be translated to Chinese shi...(de) structure. Another issue concerns how the four informational properties account for the differences between English it-cleft and Chinese shi...(de) sentence: the stress-focused cleft, the informative presupposition cleft, the discontinuous cleft, and the emphatic cleft. It is observed that these four functional properties can be comparable with Lambrecht¡¦s three focus types, and that they can be used to determine the real focus in the scope of shi...(de), without concerning ambiguous problems among subject focus, sentence focus and adjunct focus.
Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:none; none; Shu-ing Shyu

School:National Sun Yat-Sen University

School Location:China - Taiwan

Source Type:Master's Thesis

Keywords:chinese shi de english it cleft information structure predicational sentence


Date of Publication:07/17/2008

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