The following extract is taken from the excellent In
Other Words by
Mona Baker. The book is about translation, but much of
it is both useful and interesting to interpreters and
Links signal the way the speaker wants the listener to relate what is about to be said to what has been said before
In the extract below I have added square brackets to
add an expression that is more relevant to us as
interpreters, for example "reader [listener]"
Conjunction involves the use of formal markers to
relate sentences, clauses and paragraphs to each other.
Unlike reference, substitution and ellipsis, the use of
conjunction [links] does not instruct the reader to
supply missing information either by looking for it
elsewhere in the text or by filling structural slots.
Instead, conjunction [links] signals the way the writer
[speaker] wants the reader [listener] to relate what is
about to be said to what has been said before.
Conjunction [links] expresses one of a small number of
general relations. The main relations are summarized
below, with examples of conjunctions which can or
typically realize each relation.
and, or, also, in addition, furthermore, besides,
similarly, likewise, by contrast, for instance;
but, yet, however, instead, on the other hand,
nevertheless, at any rate, as a matter of fact;
so, consequently, it follows, for, because, under the
circumstances, for this reason;
then, next, after that, on another occasion, in
conclusion, an hour later, finally, at last;
now, of course, well, anyway, surely, after all,
A number of points need to be borne in mind here.
First, the same conjunction may be used to signal
different relations, depending on the context. Second,
these relations can be expressed by a variety of means;
the use of a conjunction is not the only device for
expressing a temporal or causal relation, for instance.
In English, a temporal relation may be expressed by
means of a verb such as follow or precede,
and a causal relation is inherent in the meanings of
verbs such as cause and lead to. In
fact, a language user will often recognize a semantic
relation such as time sequence even when there no
explicit signal of such a relationship exists in the
text. Third, conjunctive relations do not just reflect
relations between external phenomena, but may also be
set up to reflect relations which are internal to the
text or communicative situation. For instance, temporal
relations are not restricted to sequence in real time;
they may reflect stages in the unfolding text. A good
example is the use of first, second and
third in this paragraph.
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