From Slovene into English: Identifying Definiteness


  • Frančiška Lipovšek University of Ljubljana



definiteness, reference, anaphora, anaphoric markers/signals, determiner selection, definite article, demonstratives


The paper addresses some typical instances of the translator’s failure to recognize definite reference in Slovene, which, in turn, results in an inappropriate determiner selection in English. It is argued that errors of this kind are ascribable not solely to the fact that the Slovene determiner system lacks an overt non-selective determiner parallel to the definite article, but to the relatively scarce use of overt determiners in general. Since definiteness is typically signalled by an anaphoric relation, some factors are explored that may help identify textual co-reference despite the absence of explicit anaphoric markers. Besides the translator’s inability to recognize the given phrase as anaphoric, two other major causes of inappropriate determiner selection are discussed: the misconception that the absence of an anaphoric relation entails indefiniteness and the translator’s misinterpreting an anaphoric expression as an ascriptive, non-referential entity. The second part of the paper focuses on the difference in use between the selective demonstrative pronoun and the non-selective definite article.


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16. 06. 2008

How to Cite

Lipovšek, F. (2008). From Slovene into English: Identifying Definiteness. ELOPE: English Language Overseas Perspectives and Enquiries, 5(1-2), 23-38.