Volume 2, Issue 6, November 2014, Page: 348-355
The English Adverbial of Time vs. the Vietnamese Range Topic of Time
Thanh Minh To, Faculty of English Linguistics and Literature, University of Social Sciences and Humanities, Vietnam National University – Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam
Received: Oct. 1, 2014;       Accepted: Oct. 22, 2014;       Published: Oct. 30, 2014
DOI: 10.11648/j.ijll.20140206.12      View  3276      Downloads  312
Abstract
Differences between the function of the adverbial of Time and that of the range topic of Time may lead Vietnamese language users to the risk of mistakenly translating the English clause with the adverbial of Time. The recommended translation of the English commercial note “Have you had a Coke today?” is “Hôm nay bạn đã uống Coca-Cola chưa?”, in which the adverbial of Time at the end of the English clause should be converted into the range topic of Time at the beginning of its Vietnamese equivalent, to meet the requirement of the Topic-Comment structure of the Vietnamese clause. In the mistakenly used version “Bạn đã uống Coca-Cola hôm nay chưa?” hôm nay can also be considered as an adjectival to be the post-nominal modifier of Coca-Cola, resulting in a case of structural ambiguity that should always be avoided. The research reported in this paper was carried on the basis of the theory of the Topic-Comment structure applied by Hao X. Cao (1991) to Vietnamese as a natural language to search for (i) dissimilarity with regard to word order when translating into Vietnamese the English clause with one or more adverbials including the adverbial of Time; (ii) possible cases when native speakers apply the fronting of the adverbial of Time in the English clause, like “Tonight I’ll call you.” instead of “I’ll call you tonight.” and (iii) any potential change in the meaning they would like to convey with such fronting.
Keywords
Adverbial, Range Topic, Topic-Comment Structure, Fronting (Movement), Point of Time, Extent in Time, Principle of End-Weight
To cite this article
Thanh Minh To, The English Adverbial of Time vs. the Vietnamese Range Topic of Time, International Journal of Language and Linguistics. Vol. 2, No. 6, 2014, pp. 348-355. doi: 10.11648/j.ijll.20140206.12
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