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The cognitive basis of translation universals*

Sandra Halverson
University of Bergen, Norway

At present, there are few attempts to provide external explanations for the patterns subsumed under the heading of translation universal. In this paper, I discuss the possible cognitive basis for the patterns/processes that have been variously referred to as simplication/generalization, normalization, standardization, sanitization, and exaggeration of target language features. The framework that I adopt is that of cognitive grammar, and my claim is that all of the above arise from the existence of asymmetries in the cognitive organization of semantic information. I also propose that the converse case is true: cases involving a lack of conspicuous cognitive asymmetries will demonstrate the opposite eect in translated text. In closing, I place the argument in a larger perspective by adopting Crofts (1990) scalar notion of generalization in a discussion of explanation in translation studies. Keywords: translation universals, translation and cognition, translation and semantic networks, explanation in translation studies



Research into so-called translation universals is a productive and innovative area in Translation Studies. Not only is empirical research expanding through the development of electronic corpora; the theoretical constructs on which this research is based are also being questioned and rened (see e.g. Chesterman 2001, Englund-Dimitrova 2001, Mauranen 2001, Tirkonnen-Condit 2001). The level of activity and increasing generation of empirical results make it all the more imperative that we begin to posit explanations for these ndings. In this paper I elaborate on the view that a number of the various lexical/ semantic patterns that have been subsumed under the heading of translation universals1 may be explained with reference to general characteristics of
Target 15:2 (2003), 197241. issn 09241884 / e-issn 15699986 John Benjamins Publishing Company

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human cognition. In making my case, I build on the theory of cognitive grammar, primarily as elaborated by Langacker (1987). The theory provides an account of how broad and general cognitive processes are reected in human language. Essential to the current discussion are the notions of schematic networks and cognitive salience and asymmetry. The paper is organized as follows. In Section 2 I present the necessary introduction to Langackers theory of cognitive grammar and the principles of cognitive organization that it incorporates, including brief mention of the key processes involved. In addition, I link this account to current research on semantic representation in bilinguals. In Section 3, I present my hypotheses concerning the role of cognitive organization in translation. In Section 4 I link the discussion in Section 3 to ndings from related investigations in another metalinguistic environment, more specically second language acquisition. I also briey touch on the origins and development of cognitive structure. In the conclusion I discuss the implications of the argument for Translation Studies.

2. The cognitive organization of information Langackers theory of cognitive grammar rests on a number of general assumptions. In the following, I will present those that are of greatest relevance for the discussion of research on translation universals. My presentation is not comprehensive, nor do I elaborate on the relative signicance Langacker imputes to the various assumptions or aspects of them. In fact, in presenting such an overview, I run considerable risk of oversimplication. Readers are referred to Langacker (1987) for the full account. 2.1 Basic assumptions In the introductory chapter to Foundations of cognitive grammar (1987), Langacker outlines the general and methodological assumptions on which his project rests. The rst of Langackers general assumptions is that language is symbolic in nature (1987: 11). This statement is more portentous than it may appear at rst glance. Langacker continues:
From the symbolic nature of language follows the centrality of meaning to virtually all linguistic concerns. Meaning is what language is all about; But it is not enough to agree that meaning is important if this results, say, in positing a separate semantic component treating grammar separately as an

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autonomous entity. I contend that grammar itself, i.e. patterns for grouping morphemes into progressively larger congurations, is inherently symbolic and hence meaningful. Grammar is simply the structuring and symbolization of semantic content; (1987: 12)

This particular idea is one that sharply divides cognitive grammar from generative grammar or from other formalist approaches. Where generative grammar posits a strict dividing line between the symbolic lexicon and the nonsymbolic, fully generative grammar, Langackers program provides for a unied approach to symbolization, and grammar and the lexicon dier only in degree, not in kind. From this follows that the same cognitive structures and processes are held to account for both grammatical and lexical structure. The second guiding assumption, concerning the relationship of language to general cognition, is particularly important in the context of the current discussion. Langacker claims that, language is an integral part of human cognition. An account of linguistic structure should therefore articulate with what is known about cognitive processing in general (ibid). The reader is again referred to Langacker (1987: 99146 in particular) for a detailed account of the most central processes. For the current purpose, I shall focus on a smaller subset. Cognitive grammar in general is taken to be a usage-based approach to language (1987: 4547, 494). The theoretical ramications of this statement are numerous, but at this stage let us focus on the issue of emergence and activation of structure for the individual. Langacker describes a cognitive, including linguistic, event as:
a cognitive occurrence of any degree of complexity, be it the ring of a single neuron or a massive happening of intricate structure and large-scale architecture. We can assume that the occurrence of any such event leaves some kind of neurochemical trace that facilitates recurrence. If the event fails to recur, its trace decays; recurrence has a progressive reinforcing eect, however, so an event (or more properly, event-type) becomes more and more deeply entrenched through continued repetition. An event type is said to have unit status when it is suciently well entrenched that it is easily evoked as an integrated whole, i.e. when it constitutes an established routine that can be carried out more or less automatically once it is initiated. I will refer to the execution of such a routine as its activation. (1987: 100, authors emphasis)

For the purposes of our discussion, the most important notions here are those of entrenchment and activation. In a linguistic event, e.g. encountering a word or expression, certain cognitive routines are activated. The more frequently the event-type is repeated, the more permanent its activation pattern becomes.

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We might conjecture that this same process will pertain to translation events. In other words, translation (sub)routines will also become entrenched with increasing repetition.2 In various publications, Langacker describes the kinds of abilities that gure in these events, i.e. that are activated and eventually result in established units of varying complexity (1987, 1991, 1999). Again, I quote extensively here in the interest of expositional economy:
We have, rst, the inborn capacity for certain basic kinds of experience: we can experience a certain range of colors, pitches, tastes, smells, and tactile sensations; we have a notion of spatial extionsionality in which spatial congurations can be manifested; we sense the passage of time; we undergo a certain array of emotions; and so on. I refer to these irreducible realms of experiential potential as basic domains. We have, next, various cognitive abilities that are applicable to any domain of experience and essential to the emergence of specic concepts (at successively higher levels of organizational complexity). We can, for instance, compare two experiences and register either their identity or any discrepancy between them. We can use one structure as the basis for categorizing another. We have the capacity for abstraction (schematization) and thus for conceiving of situations with varying degrees of specicity and detail. We are able to direct and focus our attention, and to structure scenes in terms of gure/ground organization (which is often reversible). (1999: 2, authors emphasis)

As seen here, the second guiding assumption of cognitive grammar means that external (to linguistics) knowledge of general cognition is put to use in accounting for linguistic structure and processes at every level. Several of the key concepts emphasized above, i.e. domain, comparison, categorization, abstraction/ schematization will be considered in more detail in Sections 2.2 and 2.3. The third assumption that is relevant in the current context concerns the issue of discreteness. As Langacker begins, much in language is a matter of degree (1987: 14). In Langackers theory, categorization, a fundamental cognitive ability, plays a vital role, and categories are taken to be structured around prototypes.3 In prototype categories, membership is not an all or nothing matter: members are rather more or less central. Similarly, gradient structures or continuums are posited at all levels, rather than rigid dichotomies. Finally, most linguistic units are highly integrated structural complexes, or systems, which are more than just the sum of their recognizable parts (1987: 19). Even at this early stage, we see the contours of a radically dierent account of linguistic structure. This account does not make use of discrete categories

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and lists of rules operating on them. There is no distinction in kind between rules and categories. Quite on the contrary, the relevant structures are nondiscrete, continuous and integrated systems and the system makes no distinction in kind between grammar (rules) and associated categories (the lexicon). The specics of semantic structure will be further outlined in Section 2.2. 2.2 Semantic structure: Linguistic units, domains, access points, categories and schematic networks In this section, I will outline Langackers account of semantic structure. There will be three separate steps to the account: description of linguistic units, description of the semantic pole of these units, and description of integrated systems, i.e. accounting for increasing structural complexity. 2.2.1 Linguistic units The most signicant structures and relationships posited in cognitive grammar are illustrated in Figure 1 below, adapted from Langacker (1987: 77). As shown in the gure, linguistic units (lexical and grammatical) consist of bipolar symbolic structures. The two poles are phonological and semantic, respectively, and each provides access to a section or area of its respective cognitive space, i.e. phonological or semantic. The association between the two poles, both within the grammar and within a specic usage event, is a symbolic one: the phonological structure symbolizes the semantic one. In a specic usage event the vocalization symbolizes a conceptualization, which is described as:
embracing any kind of mental experience. It subsumes (a) both established and novel conceptions; (b) not only abstract or intellectual concepts but also sensory, motor, and emotive experience; (c) conceptions that are not instantaneous but change or unfold through processing time; and (d) full apprehension of the physical, social, cultural and linguistic context. (1987: 3)

Furthermore, usage events are dened as neutral with respect to the speaker/ hearer distinction. Symbolization is to be distinguished from the coding relationship, which pertains between the symbolic unit in the grammar of a language and its realization in a usage event. Coding is dened as nding an appropriate target structure that ts a sanctioning unit within some degree of tolerance (Langacker 1987: 77). The process of establishing t, i.e. selecting an appropriate linguistic item, is thus an instance of categorization.

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Semantic space grammar (linguistic convention) usage event symbolic unit sem. unit coding conceptualization sym. sym. phon. unit coding vocalization coding

Phonological space Symbolic space

Figure 1. Structures in symbolic space

At this stage it is important to note that a communicative event is the equivalent to a usage event in Langackers terms. In Section 3 we shall be considering translated texts as the products of such usage events.
2.2.2 The semantic pole Let us proceed to take a closer look at the structuring of semantic space at the semantic pole of the linguistic unit. According to Langacker, every predicate is characterized relative to one or more cognitive domains, collectively called its matrix (1987: 147). A domain is dened as a context for the characterization of a semantic unit and such entities are further characterized as necessarily cognitive entities: mental experiences, representational spaces, concepts, or conceptual complexes (ibid). Domains may be either basic or abstract, and they may vary in their degree of complexity, their dimensionality (whether they

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are multi-dimensional, bounded or unbounded, continuous or discrete), and whether they are locational or congurational in terms of the types of predications they allow. A second principle that is vital to an understanding of the cognitive organization of semantic space is the understanding that linguistic semantics requires an encyclopedic approach to meaning. As Langacker points out, Most concepts require specications in more than one domain for their characterization (1987: 154). Thus the semantic pole of a symbolic unit may incorporate several domains of knowledge, all varying in their degree of internal complexity and of boundedness, etc. This is not to say that any or all possible knowledge that may be related to an entity is of equal signicance. Indeed, in the characterization of a particular semantic unit, the multitude of specications that gure in our encyclopedic conception of an entity form a gradation in terms of their centrality (1987: 159, authors emphasis). Centrality may be based on the extent to which a specication is conventional, generic, intrinsic and characteristic (ibid). Centrality will be covered in more detail in Section 2.3. 2.2.3 Integrated systems: Increasing structural complexity Let us return for a moment to the two poles of the symbolic unit. A further elaboration is necessary at this point. As Langacker puts it:
Most symbolic units are variable in both form and meaning. [I] argue that the semantic and phonological poles of a symbolic unit are analyzable as complex categories, and that these are best conceived and described as schematic networks. (1987: 369)

At the phonological pole, then, various realizations of a phonological unit represent more or less central members of a prototype category. Our main interest, however, lies in the prototype categories at the other pole, in semantic space. It has been argued that the various senses of a lexical item may be fruitfully described as constituting a prototype category (Lako 1987, Taylor 1989). It is this approach which underlies cognitive grammar as well. In Langackers presentation:
A lexical item of frequent occurrence displays a substantial, often impressive variety of interrelated senses and conventionally sanctioned usages; its set of established values can be regarded as a complex category, the members of which are treated as equivalent for symbolic (and possibly other) purposes. (1987: 370)

It is not enough, however, to recognize that the semantic pole is constituted by a complex category. We must also have a more detailed understanding of the

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structure of this category, i.e. a means of accounting for the relationships that pertain between the members. In cognitive grammar, category relationships are of two types: elaboration (the relation between a schema and its instantiations) and extension (the relation between prototypical and peripheral values) (Langacker 1987: 370, authors emphasis). The schema, dened as the superordinate structure in a taxonomic hierarchy (Langacker 1987: 68), is an integral aspect of the process of developing/acquiring categories and is part and parcel of the general cognitive ability to abstract. This cognitive capability is fundamental to numerous operations, linguistic and otherwise. In the formulation of categories, abstraction from recurrent usage events results in the formulation of increasingly schematic representational structures. Another key cognitive capability, i.e. generalization, is involved in the extension of categories to include new members. Category growth occurs through the comparison of a potential member (a target) with either a schema or with the category prototype. Langacker summarizes the growth of category structure through these processes as follows:
If we think of extension as a horizontal relationship, and schematicity as a vertical one, we can say that the outward growth of a lexical network by extension from prototypes is inherently associated with its upward growth by extraction of schemas. One is not possible without the other, but they tend to co-occur as interrelated facets of the same expansive mechanism. (1987: 373)

Up until this point, we have been referring to prototypes and schemas as if each lexical network had only one each. This is rarely, if ever, the case, however. The complexity of these categories is compounded by the existence of local centers of gravity. As this is a point of major signicance, I shall quote extensively from Langacker:
not every complex category oers viable or unique candidates for the roles of prototype and schema at the global level. A particular node can be recognized as the global prototype if it is substantially more salient than any other and functions as the apparent basis of more extensions. Nothing intrinsic to the structure or the dynamics of complex categories guarantees that a single node will always distinguish itself in this way, however, or that multiple prototypes of considerable local prominence will not arise in dierent portions of an extensive network. There is similarly no assurance that a schematic network will always be graced with a single superschema compatible with all other members of the category; extensions can occur without the motivating schemas (similarity perceptions) achieving the status of conventional units. Thus a network need not incorporate a well-behaved schematic or taxonomic

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hierarchy, with a single topmost node that dominates all the others. Moreover, even if an all-subsuming superschema can plausibly be posited for a category, it may well be only minimally entrenched and have very little cognitive salience. Although such a schema would dene the commonality of the entire category, its cognitive and linguistic signicance might be negligible. (1987:381)

In short, precisely which activation patterns will become salient in any given network is not predictable a priori. There may or may not be one or more salient prototype or high-level schema. Thus far, we have seen the gradual development of a system for the cognitive organization of semantic information. First, semantic knowledge is encyclopedic in nature and involves the activation, through symbolic structures, of one or more domains of varying complexity and extension. The semantic pole of a symbolic structure (lexical or grammatical) is linked to specications in one or more such semantic domains. The domains activated through one lexical/grammatical item are collectively referred to as its matrix. Cognitive domains, in addition to variation along dimensions such as complexity, boundedness, discreetness, etc., domains also vary in their degree of cognitive centrality.4 At the next level, we see the organization of semantic spaces growing into so-called schematic networks linking the various senses associated with a lexical/ grammatical item. These networks consist of various nodes and links between these nodes, i.e. arcs. These links, or arcs, become increasingly entrenched through the repetition of cognitive routines (repetitions of suciently similar usage events). The nodes themselves may be structures of any degree of internal complexity:
for instance, a single node consists of a complex matrix that incorporates numerous domains, some of them representing substantial knowledge systems. Certain knowledge systems serving as domains for one sense of a lexical item must be included in the matrix for other senses as well (Langacker 1987: 378)

In other words, the related senses of one lexical item are also linked, via the relevant nodes, to complex categories of semantically related items. One nal point must be established with respect to the nature of the nodes in these schematic networks. Within such a network, nodes represent links to interlocking knowledge systems. Thus far, we have not touched upon the type of knowledge that is represented in these systems, though implicitly one might assume that much of it is typically extra-linguistic. For instance, to elaborate on

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an example from Langacker (1987: 404), the network for aunt for any individual speaker of English would involve nodes for a system of kinship relations, which, in turn, may lead to nodes linking to cultural stereotypes, e.g. maiden aunts; there may be knowledge of particular individuals linked to the network, etc. In addition, a network for aunt, for example, may include metalinguistic information, such as the existence of alternative phonological variants /ant/ vs. /nt/ and relevant information concerning them (here geographical dierences) (Langacker 1987: 404, also note 25). Schematic networks may also incorporate information regarding context of use (e.g. relative social status of speaker and hearer, etc). Thus these networks include not only complex and dynamic connections; they also include information that is more or less intrinsic to the object/event that is being characterized. In addition to understanding the architecture of semantic space, certain aspects of its functioning are also crucial to our current purpose. One aspect of the representation of knowledge in schematic networks concerns the functioning of the symbolic unit with respect to the semantic network. We have seen that the phonological pole (see Figure 1), i.e. a specic vocalization in a usage event, symbolizes a conceptualization that is encoded in a semantic unit. The symbolic unit (the pairing of a phonological and semantic unit) may be seen as a point of access to a network. As Langacker states:
The semantic value of a symbolic unit is given by the open-ended set of relations simple and complex direct and indirect in which this access node participates. Each of these relations is a cognitive routine, and because they share at least one component the activation of one routine facilitates (but does not always necessitate) the activation of another. (1987: 163)

2.3 Asymmetry, cognitive salience and categorial prominence The outline of semantic structure at two levels, matrix and network, has included discussion of the various ways in which certain elements or structures at each level are more prominent, or central, than others. Even though the related notions of centrality and cognitive salience are played out in slightly dierent ways at the two levels, the key idea is the same: there is asymmetry in the complex cognitive structures and this asymmetry arises from general characteristics of human cognition. Moreover, the asymmetry has numerous linguistic consequences. In the following we will take a closer look at this asymmetry at each of the two levels.5 In the discussion, I refer to asymmetry as a feature of the structures described, while cognitive salience is used to

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refer to the prominence these features have in the process of running various cognitive tasks. The two terms merely reect two perspectives, one more static and the other more dynamic, on the same phenomenon. 2.3.1 Asymmetry in the matrix: Specications for lexical items As Langacker discusses (1987: 158f), one of the main objections to the encyclopedic/network account of semantic structure arises out of a concern with the relative ranking of specications for any lexical item. In more familiar terms, some qualities, or specications, are considered more accidental, or contingent, while others are considered more essential. Langackers response to this concern lies in the notion of gradation:
I do not specically claim that all facets of our knowledge of an entity have equal status, linguistically or otherwise quite the contrary. The multitude of specications that gure in our encyclopedic conception of an entity clearly form a gradation in terms of their centrality. Some are so central that they can hardly be omitted from even the sketchiest characterization, whereas others are so peripheral that they hold little signicance even for the most exhaustive description. (1987: 159, authors emphasis)

The notion of centrality is then further elaborated with reference to four particular factors: the degree to which a specication is conventional, generic, intrinsic and characteristic (ibid). Conventionality makes reference to the degree to which a linguistic community agrees on a given specication with regard to a given linguistic item. For instance, most English-speakers would agree that a specication of the lexical item egg would include knowledge structures related to eating, Easter celebrations, chickens, etc., though not, perhaps, to the use of eggs as ideal projectiles. If, however, the throwing of eggs in given social contexts were to reach a critical level in community awareness, this knowledge too, may become conventional and more central to the matrix of the lexical item. Similarly, information that is considered to be generic, rather than individual, is held to be more central to a specication. Both genericness and conventionality tend to correlate (Langacker 1987: 160) with intrinsicness. A property is taken to be intrinsic to the extent that its characterization makes no essential reference to external entities. Langacker continues:
Shape, for example, is a highly intrinsic property of physical objects, as it reduces to relations between the parts of an object and does not require interaction or comparison with other entities. Size, on the other hand, implies

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comparison either with other objects or with some scale of measurement; hence it is not quite so intrinsic as shape. Behavioral properties tend to be less intrinsic, for most behaviors involve interaction with other entities. Some behaviors are fairly intrinsic, e.g. the sounds that cats emit, and their techniques for washing themselves Such activities as chasing mice and scratching furniture bring external entities into the picture more saliently and are consequently more extrinsic. The cultural role of cats, for instance their association with witchcraft and Halloween, is highly extrinsic; it has little to do with cats themselves, but is rather a matter of how others regard them. (1987: 160161)

The fourth and nal factor that aects the centrality of a specication is whether or not it is characteristic, or whether it is unique to the class of entities designated by an expression and consequently sucient to identify a class member (Langacker 1987: 161). 2.3.2 Asymmetry in schematic networks: Prototypes and schemas It should be obvious that the determinants of centrality within the semantic specications of a lexical item are primarily derived from general cognitive capabilities, many of them perceptual (e.g. shape, size). In addition, convention is related to a certain level of frequency at both language community and individual levels (entrenchment). Centrality, or rather the more overarching notion of gradation in category membership, is a vital element of cognitive organization at several levels. If we proceed to the level of schematic networks, in which the numerous senses of a lexical item are categorially linked to each other and to semantically related items, we see further evidence of asymmetry in cognitive organization. At the network level, there are several dimensions that contribute to increased prominence for specic nodes. The three that are outlined by Langacker are: 1. the prominence of the domain linked to the node (e.g. privilege of space and vision, sensory experience over more abstract domains) 2. the level of schematicity (the prominence of the basic level in category hierarchies) 3. the degree of entrenchment (frequency of activation) (1987: 380). Langacker summarizes the relevant aspects of cognitive asymmetry in schematic networks as follows:
Within a schematic network, therefore, certain nodes and relationships are far more prominent and important than others, both cognitively and linguistically.

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In particular, special signicance attaches to the nodes that function as the category prototype and the highest-level schema. The prototype is signicant because of its developmental priority and notable cognitive salience. As the primary basis for extension, it denes the center of gravity for the category. The highest-order schema is signicant because it embodies the maximal generalization that can be extracted as a characterization of the category membership. (1987: 380381, my emphasis)

In summary, we have seen that semantic structure may be characterized in terms of integrated networks. These networks are complex and dynamic and are accessed by symbolic units (bipolar structures). There are various kinds of knowledge included in these networks, including perceptual knowledge, extralinguistic real world knowledge and metalinguistic information. The networks are also characterized by global and/or local centers of gravity or prominence (prototypes and high-level schemas) that originate in various ways and that have numerous linguistic eects. In Section 3 we will consider the possible eects of such a system on translational tasks. But rst, we must briey address the question of cognitive organization in the bilingual brain. 2.4 Representation in the bilingual brain In the preceding sections, we have outlined an approach to the cognitive organization of semantic information without considering the highly relevant question of how such organization is aected by the existence of more than one language in a given cognizer. There is a vast eld of research into the question of semantic representation in bilinguals, and the brief outline to follow does not by any means cover the eld in its entirety. Moreover, current research in the eld has not expressly provided links to the kind of cognitive linguistic approach outlined in Section 2. On the contrary, predominant research groups have approached the area from either a psycholinguistic or a cognitive neuroscience perspective. It is primarily the former that is in focus here. 2.4.1 Organization: Lexical and semantic elements and their interconnections While researchers on semantic representation in bilinguals may disagree on certain details of organization and processing, there seems to be a consensus on the general assumption that there are two layers of representational elements (de Groot 1997: 34). The rst of the two, the lexical level, is where the (orthographic and phonological) forms of words are stored, while in the second, the conceptual level, word meanings are stored (ibid).

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The dierences that emerge in the literature concern, quite simply, the nature of the conceptual layer and the types of links that exist between lexical and conceptual elements. More specically, the issues at stake are whether or not the conceptual layer contains one common store or separate stores for each language, whether the conceptual level is conceived of as local or as globally distributed, whether or not there are connections between the lexical elements of the two languages, and whether or not there are direct connections between the lexical elements of L2 and the conceptual level (ibid). Moreover, in the cases where links are posited between the lexical items of both languages and a common conceptual store, there is also the issue of whether the two sets of links are of similar or identical strengths. There are two models that predominate in the literature, and both provide interesting and relevant information for the present discussion. The two have much in common and vary primarily in the representation of the conceptual layer and in the elaboration of the links to and from the lexical elements. Both represent the growing consensus on the one-store account of the conceptual level. Moreover, the empirical support for both models is quite convincing (see de Bot and Schreuder 1993, de Groot 1992a, 1992b, 1993, 1997, Kroll 1993). Neither model provides real problems for our framework from Section 2, though clearly one of the two, that involving so-called distributed representations (de Groot 1992) is more amenable than the other. Indeed, I argue that its conceptual base is fundamentally the same as that of Langacker (see Section 3.1). Moreover, this same model provides more parsimonious explanations of a number of empirical results than does its contender. For these reasons we shall focus on that model in what follows. The distributed representation model is shown in Figure 2 from de Groot (1992a: 390).6 In the gure, the two levels of representation are labeled lexical memory and conceptual memory. In the latter, the meaning of the concept associated with the Dutch word vader is distributed over six elements (the number six here is purely arbitrary). As de Groot explains it, Upon presentation of the word vader, each of these elements receives excitatory activation via its connection with the lexical node (1992a: 390). The elaboration of the gure above to account for bilingual representations is shown in Figures 3a and 3b, also from de Groot (1992a: 393). As shown in the gures, lexical items in a bilinguals two languages are linked via shared connections at the conceptual level. The two versions of Figure 3 demonstrate greater and lesser degrees of conceptual overlap. In 3a, the

The cognitive basis of translation universals



lexical memory

conceptual memory

Figure 2. A distributed conceptual representation

vader father

lexical memory

conceptual memory

Figure 3a. A distributed conceptual representation. Translations have exactly the same meaning

two lexical items share all of their respective nodes; in 3b they share only some. The functioning of the system in a word translation task is described by de Groot as follows:
Translation again involves the tracing of links (spreading activation) from the lexical representation of a word in one language to that of this word in the second language via conceptual memory, but now the links to be traced are those connecting the lexical nodes with the individual meaning elements of the conceptual representation. (1992a: 392)

De Groot also points out that word frequency will be reected in these networks. In her account frequency will aect the strength of the various connections between nodes.

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lexical memory

conceptual memory

Figure 3b. A distributed conceptual representation. Translations dier in meaning

2.4.2 Translation tasks: Word-type eects The model briey outlined above was derived and developed on the basis of extensive empirical testing (see de Groot 1992a for an overview). As mentioned earlier, this research has been carried out within a psycholinguistic paradigm. The methodology employed is experimental and involves such tasks as word translation (given a word in L1 subjects are asked to provide a translation in L2), translation recognition (word pairs are given and subjects are asked whether or not they are translation pairs) and various tests of semantic priming (testing of eects of prior provision of semantically related primer words) within and between languages. The dependent variables are most often response time and frequency of error and omission. This methodology has been criticized by translation scholars as ecologically invalid (see de Groot 1997 for a discussion). And quite clearly, translation of words in a laboratory environment is very dierent from translating situated texts in a real translation environment. However, some of the results are interesting in the context of the current discussion, in spite of these limitations. In the context of our discussion of the eects of cognitive organization and processing on translation, it is interesting to consider the eects of word type on translation performance. De Groot (1993), in one of a series of studies aimed at the investigation of representational form in bilinguals, studied the eects of words concreteness and cognate status on translation tasks like those mentioned above. The ndings of various studies suggest that the translations of concrete words share more of their representations than the translations of abstract words (1993: 40). The same results were found for cognates. These ndings, however, are considered to be indicative of a deeper causal factor: similarity of meaning.

The cognitive basis of translation universals


In summing up a review of a series of studies, de Groot states:

It was suggested that concreteness and cognate status per se are not the determinants of the representational form. Rather, the degree of meaning similarity between the words within a translation pair may ultimately determine the bilingual representational form. The more similar the meanings of the translations, the more likely they are to be stored compoundly in the mental lexicons of some types of bilinguals or in the case of distributed conceptual representations the larger the number of conceptual elements that the translation pair is likely to share. (1993: 46, authors emphasis)

The relationship of word contriteness and similarity of meaning is a nonarbitrary one. Indeed, as de Groot states:
concrete words refer to entities whose function is likely to be the same across languages. The outward appearance of these entities and the behaviours that they elicit are also likely to be similar across language communities because these relate directly to their function. As a consequence, the conceptual representations for the translations of concrete words will have very similar contents. (1993: 41)

We shall return to the signicance of concreteness/abstractness and its relationship to semantic representation in Section 3.1.

3. Cognitive organization and translation eects At this point, it may be helpful to reiterate the general argument put forward in the introduction. I started out by stating the general claim that a number of the various lexical/semantic patterns that have been subsumed under the heading of translation universals may be explained with reference to general characteristics of human cognition. In this section, I explain how this is so using the framework outlined in Section 2. 3.1 Bringing it all together In this section, I bring together the various elements presented in Section 2 in preparation for discussing their role in accounting for universal linguistic patterns in translated text. It is helpful to distinguish between features of cognitive organizational structure and features of cognitive functioning, though this is in some ways a misleading distinction. As Langacker points out, Mind

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is neurological activity, and established concepts are simply entrenched cognitive routines (1987: 162). Thus the structural elements discussed here, as well as the procedural features outlined both ultimately correspond to dynamic patterns of neural activation, not static entities.7 With that caveat in mind, let us consider the structures that are posited for knowledge representation. In the cognitive grammar account, encyclopedic knowledge is organized in domains that are linked together and elaborated into matrices. These domains and matrices organize the semantic pole of bipolar symbolic units. The other pole is phonological. The two poles are similar in content and function to the two layers of representational elements, conceptual and lexical, that prevail in bilingualism research. At a higher level of complexity, the semantic pole may cover several related senses that are linked to one phonological unit. These various senses constitute a complex category, whose internal structure is represented on the semantic pole by a schematic network. Such networks may be exceedingly complex, and they are linked, through shared nodes and matrix congurations, to networks representing similar and related meanings. Indeed, the networks may be said to partially overlap, or to fade into one another. The anity of the semantic network account to the distributed representation model shown in Figure 3 should be obvious. The latter is simpler in design than the former, and the depiction of it in the gure does not include the kind of three-dimensional depth that would be necessary to account for the kind of network extension and growth outlined in Section 2.2. However, this, I think, is a deception of the diagram only. The two models are conceptually alike in that meaning elements at the conceptual/semantic level are separate but linked and that the conceptual level is structured through a distributed network. The lexical elements in the model of bilingual representation and the phonological pole of Langackers symbolic structures are also similar. In the psycholinguistic accounts of bilingual representation, the lexical level seems to have an initial triggering function vis-a-vis the conceptual level. In Langackers account the phonological pole plays an analogous role in the bipolar symbolic structures that trigger or initiate access to the semantic structure to which they are linked. Symbolic structures as a whole serve (bipolar structures, form/meaning pairs) as gateways, as it were. Langacker describes the process as follows:
the entity designated by a symbolic unit can therefore be thought of as a point of access to a network. The semantic value of a symbolic unit is given by the openended set of relations simple and complex, direct and indirect in which this access node participates. Each of these relations is a cognitive routine, and because

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they share at least one component the activation of one routine facilitates (but does not always necessitate) the activation of another. The correspondence between the phonological pole and the semantic pole of a symbolic unit implies the ability of the phonological routine to activate the subroutine constituting the access node together with an indenite number of relational routines that incorporate this subroutine. (1987: 163, authors emphasis)

The notion of access brings us over to the more dynamic aspects of cognitive semantic functioning. Thus far we have seen the network structures (as patterns of spreading activation) that represent conceptual knowledge. We have seen how language users access these networks. We assume, along with most bilingualism researchers, that bilinguals have one knowledge store, with various access routes, either via L1 or L2. An additional elaboration of this picture is necessary, however. As we saw in Section 2.4, according to the distributed representation model, words in a bilinguals two languages may share all, some, or no nodes at the conceptual level. In other words, there may be congurations, or patterns of activation, in networks of meaning that are linked only to phonological representations in one of the two languages,8 though these may ultimately, in dierent congurations and through dierent, less direct, routes, be linked to phonological representations in the other language.9 These could be exemplied by, for instance, so-called culture-specic concepts. At the other extreme, there may be networks in which the two phonological nodes share all conceptual nodes, e.g. in words with highly concrete meanings, e.g. de Groots example of father/vader in Figure 3a. An extension of the overall map is then that schematic networks contain nodes for lexical/phonological representations in the bilinguals two languages. The activation of (dierent parts of) the network may vary to a greater or lesser degree, depending on which phonological representation (i.e. which language) is chosen as the access point. Moreover, the availability of a phonological representation in L2 is aected by how many meaning elements a potential L2 item shares with the L1 structure that was originally activated. There may also be networks that are primarily accessed by way of a phonological realization in L1 or L2 only. The activation of such a network would not directly activate nodes in networks linked to any one specic L2 item. In the event that an L2 item or items (translation) were activated, this would, presumably, be the result of considerable active searching. Clearly, if such active searches are repeated often enough, these more indirect activation patterns would also become entrenched, as the necessary connections are strengthened.

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We will recall (see Section 2.1) that the networks also contain metalinguistic nodes that activate information about context of use, phonological variation, etc. It must also be plausible to posit metalinguistic nodes to account for knowledge regarding non-overlap of conceptual conguration. This would account for the fact that most advanced bilinguals have at least some knowledge of linguistic items in either L1 or L2 that are unique to the language in question, or for which the semantic structures of the two languages diverge in some (unexpected) way. The former would correspond to the extreme case of the scenario outlined above, where the search was unsuccessful. Even if not all bilinguals have such knowledge, it seems fair to assume that practicing translators do: they are the ones who would repeat the search often enough. Given that linguistic units access schematic networks, it is then necessary to consider what happens once the network is activated. We saw in Section 2.3 that most schematic networks are asymmetrical in terms of cognitive salience. That is, some elements of either the matrix or the network are more central or salient than others. To reiterate, certain nodes are more prominent than others: those linked to domains of space, vision, and sensory experience, those at a certain level of schematicity (basic-level categories) and those that are most deeply entrenched (which presumably correlates with frequency of activation (Langacker 1987: 380)). These three factors come together in the derivation of two key gravitational centers: the category prototype and the highest level schema. The key idea here is that once a network is activated, particular force is exerted by these two kinds of structures. They must be expected to exert some sort of gravitational pull on the cognizer. Interestingly, it is precisely this kind of eect that has been demonstrated in the word-translation studies carried out by de Groot (1992a, 1992b, 1993). The translation eects demonstrated (as measured by translation speed, rate of omission and error) were shown to be aected by the level of concreteness of the word in question. In short, subjects translate faster and more correctly the more concrete the word. De Groot links this to a discussion of the conceptual structure of concrete words as opposed to more abstract ones. She states (previously quoted in Section 2.4):
It is unlikely that concreteness per se causes words that dier on this dimension to be represented dierently in bilingual memory. A more plausible cause is the degree of overlap between a pair of word translations, this overlap presumably being larger for concrete words than for abstract words. The reason to assume this to be the case (de Groot 1992a; cf. Koler 1963: 98) is that concrete words refer to entities whose function is likely to be the same across

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languages. The outward appearance of these entities and the behaviours that they elicit are also likely to be similar across language communities because these relate directly to their function. (1993: 4041)

Without explicitly mentioning the term basic-level, de Groot has linked her results unambiguously to this notion. The basic-level is dened as that category level that is most cognitively signicant to humans on the basis of perceptual and functional (behavioral) characteristics. The translation eects that de Groot has demonstrated and linked to conceptual structure are precisely those that would be predicted on the basis of a network model that incorporates cognitive asymmetry. As mentioned in Section 2.3.2, the basic level is highly prominent in category hierarchies, which are one of the types of relationship found in a network. Given that the basic level is highly cognitively salient, we would expect that salience, i.e. its asymmetrically prominent position, would have an eect on translation tasks also. A nal aspect of the dynamic functioning of semantic networks concerns the role of frequency. As we saw in Section 2.1, repetition of usage events may result in a linguistic unit types achieving unit status; it is then considered to be entrenched (Langacker 1987: 100). Thus frequency plays a role in the development of schematic networks over time. First, a high degree of entrenchment is a major determinant of prototypicality (Langacker 1987: 38). Second, frequently encountered usage events that are similar, though not identical, allow for the extraction of higher level schemas. With respect to the expansion of categories, a certain level of frequency is required before a more peripheral member is allowed into a category and before the categorizing relationship will become entrenched. Frequency has also been demonstrated to have eects on translation performance in psycholinguistic experiments. Performance in word translation tasks (measured in response time, errors and omissions) is better for more highly frequent words. The initial explanation for this is that words that are frequently used in monolingual settings are also frequent in monolingual settings in L2, and that this strengthens the links between the conceptual level and the corresponding lexical representations in both languages. De Groot also points out that words that are frequent in monolingual settings tend to be frequent in translation settings as well. According to de Groot, Each translation act will strengthen the link between the lexical representations of the translations that it traces. Therefore, translating between these two words will gradually become more skilled (1992a: 15).

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3.2 Eects of high cognitive salience on translation The view of cognitive organization and function outlined above allows us to make predictions about the eects of structural asymmetry in semantic networks on translation tasks. The prediction that follows from the account given above is that, as a result of high cognitive salience, two particular types of structures will exert gravitational pull within a semantic network. These structures are the category prototype and the highest level schema. My claim is that the gravitational pull of these two types of structures can account for the partially overlapping results found in studies of simplication and generalization (see below). Moreover, these same structures, I claim, will be able to account for patterns of normalization (Englund-Dimitrova 1997), sanitization (Kenny 1998), conventionalization (Baker 1993) and exaggeration of TL features (Baker 1993). A similar account could also be given for Tourys law of growing standardization (1995: 267), which is a related idea. The basic idea is straightforward: in a translation task, a semantic network is activated by lexical and grammatical structures in the ST.10 Within this activated network, which also includes nodes for TL words and grammatical structures, highly salient structures will exert a gravitational pull, resulting in an overrepresentation in translation of the specic TL lexical and grammatical structures that correspond to those salient nodes and congurations in the schematic network.11 It is precisely overrepresentation of this type that has been demonstrated in empirical studies. Perhaps the most thoroughly researched universal is simplication. Laviosa (2001) provides a review of the simplication literature, and points out that the studies carried out have varied considerably in both method and conceptual apparatus. What is important within the current discussion, however, is that all of the studies she refers to (Blum-Kulka and Levenston 1983, Vanderauwera 1985, Klaudy 1996) present evidence of simplication of lexical relationships that supports the hypothesis given above. Blum-Kulka and Levenston discussed lexical choices in translation and found evidence for systematic choice of superordinate lexical items where co-hyponyms would be expected and the selection of more familiar TL words over their less familiar synonyms.12 These two patterns would support the pull of a high-level schema and of a category prototype (local or global) respectively. Vanderauwera (1985) discusses what she views as reections of a tendency towards textual conventionality (1985: 93). This tendency is manifested in a variety of syntactic adjustments such as simplifying complex syntax, such as non-nite clauses and suspended periods. Other patterns include splitting up

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or shortening long structures and circumlocutions, omitting or reducing repetitions and redundancies, and omitting modifying phrases and words (see Laviosa 2001). Clearly, the manifestations of textual conventionality will vary from language to language and from text type to text type. However, if it is true that translations are more conventional than their source texts, relative to prevailing norms,13 then this too is in line with the predictions of my hypothesis. Remember that prototypes may also be grammatical and pertain at every level of linguistic organization (see Taylor 1989). Lastly, Laviosas own ndings on what she refers to as core patterns of lexical use (1998: 565) are also precisely those that would be predicted by the hypothesis. In her 1998 article, Laviosa summarizes her key ndings as follows:
i. Translated texts have a relatively lower percentage of content words versus grammatical words (i.e. their lexical density is lower); ii. The proportion of high frequency words versus low frequency words is relatively higher in translated texts; iii. The list head of a corpus of translated texts accounts for a larger area of the corpus (i.e. the most frequent words are repeated more often) iv. The list head of translated texts contains fewer lemmas. (Laviosa 1998: 565)

Laviosas ndings provide clear evidence of overrepresentation in translated text (relative to non-translated texts) of high-frequency lexical items and a more limited range of lexical choices in translations. The overall picture is that the translators have restricted their lexical choices to a narrow range of those available, and that the choices made have been words that are highly frequent in the target language. As mentioned earlier, asymmetry in schematic networks is linked to frequency, i.e. gaining status as category prototype is dependent on frequency, and once established, prototypes are selected more frequently than more peripheral structures or items. Laviosas ndings support the idea of gravitational pull from category prototypes. The proposed generalization universal is sometimes confounded with simplication, as in Blum-Kulka and Levenston (1983). In this case, selection of a superordinate term is considered to be a form of simplication. According to my hypothesis, however, the two would result from cognitive pull originating in two dierent structures, i.e. prototypes and schemas. Generalization would then originate from the pull of higher level schemas. Klaudy (1996) also discusses generalization. She is concerned with classifying what she refers to as translational operations and with mapping those that are forced by discrepancies between the linguistic systems involved and those that are not. Klaudy presents evidence for several subtypes of generalizations,

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some of which are attributed to dierences in lexicalization patterns in Hungarian as opposed to a set of Indo-European languages. Clearly, cases like this are dierent than those we have considered earlier, where simplication/generalization occurred in spite of the existence of linguistic items in the target language at the same level of complexity or generality. Translation choices in circumstances such as these are still aected by salient structures, as the TL structures chosen are aected by frequency (prototype). However, in such instances the constraints of the systems in question are the most important conditioning factor. Presumably, patterns such as these would not show up in an analysis of a comparable corpus, as the TL patterns would closely resemble those found in non-translated text. All in all, there is not an overwhelming amount of empirical evidence that generalization is a universal of translation, though what evidence there is supports the hypothesis. Interestingly, a generalization strategy gures in numerous accounts of translation, both theoretical and pedagogical (for the latter see e.g. Baker 1992), precisely in the conditions studied by Klaudy, i.e. dierence in lexicalization patterns between SL and TL. In short, there is sucient cause to investigate this further. Of the remaining universals, or general patterns, mentioned earlier in this section, normalization, sanitization (Kenny 1998), conventionalization (Baker 1993) and exaggeration of TL features (Baker 1993), growing standardization (Toury 1995), most are still more or less likely candidates. There has been little empirical testing, though the methodologies for doing so seem to be in the pipeline (see especially Kenny 1998 and Malmkjr 1998). I might mention in passing the ndings of a study that I am currently working on involving the expression of durative aspect in translation between Norwegian and English, using the EnglishNorwegian parallel corpus ( prosjekt). The gures indicate a clear and unambiguous overrepresentation of the present progressive in translations from Norwegian to English, relative to non-translated English text (Halverson, in preparation). Indeed, in the ENPC data, there were over twice as many instances of the present progressive in translated texts, as opposed to non-translated. This is clear support for the idea that TL features are overrepresented in translated text and is in line with the hypothesis of gravitational pull from category prototypes and global schemas. At this point, a brief digression is in order, in the interest of clarication. It must be remembered that the gravitational pull posited here is in no way meant to function in a deterministic way. In other words, my claim is that such gravitational pull is in eect: not that it cannot be overridden if other competing

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motivations are stronger. A case in point here is that of Tourys translationspecic lexical items (Toury 1995: 206). The phenomenon described and documented by Toury is that in translations, linguistic forms and structures often occur which are rarely, or perhaps even never encountered in utterances originally composed in the target language (1995:207208). One might suspect, on the basis of the account of translation that I am presenting, that such a thing would never occur, as there would be no link to a non-existing linguistic item in the target language. This, I would suggest, is an instance in which extratextual factors motivate the translator to create a new word. Such factors may be related to any of a number of situational circumstances, for instance the role of the ST author, the role/position of the translator herself, the position of the ST author in the target literary system, etc. Thus, the cognitive semantic structure and the forces working there are not a closed system: co-textual and contextual factors are also operating in any given translation event.14 To return from this brief, but important, digression and to sum up: most of the candidates for the status of translation universal would represent processes that substantiate the prediction outlined at the beginning of this section: as a result of high cognitive salience, the category prototype and the highest level schema will exert gravitational pull within a semantic network. The labels tendency towards conventional grammaticality, normalization, and standardization, I argue, all designate essentially the same thing, and represent the eects of gravitational pull exerted by category prototypes. At present, simplication is a more theoretically rened notion, and has the best empirical support. The basic dierence between the latter, simplication, and the former three seems to be that the former are often, though not always (see Kenny 1998), dened in terms of syntactic relationships, while the latter is dened as a semantic relationship (with the exception of Laviosa). However, in a unied account of semantic structure such as Langackers presented in Section 2, the dierences are of degree and not kind. This means that the intrinsic similarity between lexical simplication, as, for instance, investigated by Blum-Kulka and Levenston and Laviosa, and the tendency towards syntactic simplication as studied by Vanderauwera, are caused by the same underlying principles. The same underlying principle would also account for all of universals mentioned here.15 3.3 Eects of low cognitive salience and low arc strengths on translation As mentioned in Section 2.2.3, it is not always the case that specic nodes within a schematic network will be distinguished as either prototype or general schema.

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The point was made that the type of cognitive organization posited does not require that this be the case in every structure. This point is important, as it demonstrates an important constraint on the types of generalizations that might be made in claiming the existence of universal patterns of translation. We shall return to this point later in this section and in the concluding section. The account of cognitive organization and processing that is put forward here will nonetheless allow for hypotheses here as well. The converse of what was found in highly asymmetrical networks will be predicted. In other words: In networks with no clearly distinguished prototype or general schema, there will not be overrrepresentation of linguistic structures corresponding to conceptual nodes for such structures. Instead, a range of translation selections will be found.16 The research done on word translation by de Groot has already demonstrated the likelihood of such a result. We will recall that in word translation tasks, subjects showed slower response times and more omissions and errors in translation of abstract words than concrete ones (de Groot 1992, 1993). As was mentioned in the discussion in Section 2.4.2, de Groots view is that these results may be attributed to the underlying conceptual representation, which, in the case of abstract words, involves fewer shared meaning nodes. In the discussion in Section 3.1, we also saw that in a model involving distributed representations, there will also be items, presumably in both of a bilinguals two languages, which share no nodes with items in the other language. The logical prediction from this will also be greater variation among a group of translators, as the search and resulting activation routines are highly likely to vary.17 Interestingly, this type of eect may be what is found in studies of underrepresentation of typical TL features (Tirkonnen-Condit 2001, Mauranen 2000). In these studies, the reverse of the proposed translation universal exaggeration of target language features is demonstrated. In the case of the former study, the linguistic items studied were a particular type of Finnish verb, verbs of suciency, and two clitic pragmatic particles. In the latter, the items studied were metatextual connectors and verbs. In Tirkonnen-Condits study, the TL-specic items were clearly underrepresented in the translation corpus. In Mauranens study, the picture was somewhat more complicated. I will address various aspects of these studies in the following. It is highly interesting that in the introduction to her paper, TirkonnenCondit discusses the issue of frequency, here related to unique items, i.e. items that are unique in the sense that they lack straightforward translation

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equivalents (2001: 2). She states that in a pilot study, the single linguistic phenomenon shared by those texts which most readers believed to be original texts whether this was in fact the case or not was their relatively high frequency of the unique elements (ibid). This is a further indication that native speakers are highly sensitive to frequency relationships, and that they use them in evaluation tasks. However, in light of the current discussion, the most interesting aspect of Tirkonnen-Condits results is that in translation situations where there is no conceptual overlap between the nodes associated with a given TL structure and any specic SL structure, there is underrepresentation of that TL structure relative to non-translated text. Her case is, of course, the extreme, as there is no conceptual overlap at all. To put this in another way, the networks accessed by various SL structures are only very distantly and weakly connected, if at all, to the networks for the TL structures in question here.18 Thus there is no cognitive salience in immediately accessed networks acting as a force in the translation of such items. A rather dierent situation arises in the case of Mauranens connectors and metatextual verbs. Here the schematic networks can be assumed to be shared to some degree, though the number of common nodes will presumably be fewer in this abstract, pragmatic domain than is the case with more concrete items. This would be similar to de Groots example of father/vader as opposed to idea/ idee, as shown in Figures 3a and 3b. Mauranens results for connectors show a mixed picture, with few signicant dierences between translated and nontranslated text. However, analysis of one specic connector, toisalta, revealed that it was clearly underrepresented in translated text. This specic connector was described as being mildly contrastive in meaning and as a more vague or general transition marker than either of its most direct English equivalents. Moreover, it generally appears to indicate that the writer is moving on to another point in the discourse It could be described as having a kind of general additive sense (Mauranen 2000: 126). Mauranen describes the results of her analysis of toisalta as follows:
In all, the English translations of toisalta showed a good deal of variation, including a fair amount of non-translation. It seems, then, that the various senses of toisalta were reected in the translations into English, whereas translations into Finnish were more narrowly conned to rendering the most obvious sources (on the one hand/on the other hand). (2000: 129)

These results would be as expected given the outline of cognitive organization and functioning as presented in Sections 2 and 3.1. If the access node to the

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mildly contrastive/transitional/additive network is provided by the Finnish toisalta, then its numerous links, through its various senses, to alternative translations in English will result in a variety of English translations. If the access node is one of many contrastive/transitional/additive connectors in English, then the chances of converging on toisalta in Finnish are less. It seems, on the basis of this evidence, that for Mauranens native speakers of Finnish, the on the one hand/on the other hand sense must be most salient, or central, of toisaltas many senses: it is virtually the only reliable trigger to its activation, at least from English. Mauranens analysis of metatextual verbs demonstrated a higher frequency of such verbs in translated Finnish than in non-translated Finnish. This result is considered in light of text type and relative cultural position (hegemonic source culture, dominated target culture). Mauranen also demonstrates that the Finnish translations show dierent collocational patterning than the original Finnish, i.e. less stable, or in many cases, a dierent and/or more varied pattern of combinatorial choices (2000: 137). The interesting point in Mauranens discussion here concerns the issue of frequency, which is central to our entire discussion. In her conclusion, Mauranen discusses the issue as follows:
How does this relate, then to the assumption that translations tend to be more restricted and conventional in their choices? The ndings can well be seen as compatible with those obtained by Laviosa (1996 and 1998), and which have since received support from other studies, namely that translations tend to overuse most frequent lexis. Even if the combinations are unusual or infrequent in original texts, the individual items that constitute the combinations may still be frequent. (ibid)

Thus as Mauranen says, even if translations show non-typical patterns, the translators still show eects of frequency, and according to our account, eects of cognitive salience. Remember that centrality in prototype categories is not absolute, it is statistical. In other words, centrality will show variation also within a native speaker population. Thus, Mauranens subjects are still demonstrating centrality eects, even though their performance may be non-typical. The lesson to be learned from all of this is quite simple. Analyses aimed at the investigation of translation universals must be contingent on the type of semantic network that is tapped into in any given instance. In short, dierent eects may be expected dependent on the structure of the network, including the types of connections within it, their varying strengths, the number of nodes shared and resulting distance between L1 and L2 items, the question of activation from one or the other language and the existence of any type of asymmetry

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within the network. As we have seen, both over and underrepresentation of TL items may be expected, depending on the structure of the network in question. Thus, attempts at verication or falsication of hypothesized translation universals must be specied at this level, and, crucially, must take into account the two languages involved, as well as the direction of translation.19 I will return to this issue in Section 4.1 and in the conclusion.

4. Additional eects and origins of cognitive salience and asymmetry Translation is a typically metalinguistic activity, in that it involves reexive awareness of linguistic activity. The same is true of another linguistic environment, i.e. second language acquisition. The two cases dier in many respects, but they share this fundamental characteristic. In the context of the current discussion, it is relevant to consider whether cognitive asymmetry, or variations in cognitive salience, has similar or comparable eects in an acquisition context. In other words, do highly salient structures exert gravitational pull on language learners? The hypothesis must be similar to that for translation, i.e. that linguistic structures corresponding to particularly salient areas of a schematic network, e.g. the prototype and/or higher-level schemas, will be overrepresented in learner language. 4.1 Asymmetry eects in second language acquisition (SLA) As we might expect, there is evidence of such overrepresentation in second learner language. Blum-Kulka and Levenstons (1983) discussion of lexical simplication in translation, mentioned in Section 3.2, was related to Levenston and Blums (1977) research on similar processes in second language acquisition. Levenston and Blum found that the learner will use words of more general meaning and applicability to a greater extent than the native speaker (1977: 62). Though their investigation was carried out within a dierent paradigm, their ndings provide clear and unambiguous support for our hypothesis. Similar results are reported in Hasselgren (1993). In her study, Hasselgren compared language learner and native speaker lexical choices. As part of the study, she identied a set of core items, specically, give, get, take, have, know, keep, tell and make. Hasselgren denes core itemsas familiar, all-purpose items (1993: 22), a denition based on traditional notions from SLA research.

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For our purposes, these may be considered representative of highly salient structures: prototypes and/or schemas. It is relevant that two of these verbs, get and make, are identied as so-called light verbs in the child language acquisition literature. These verbs are considered cognitively basic and representative of high-level schemas that are derived from basic patterns of experience (see Goldberg 1998). In Hasselgrens study, the relative frequency of selection of these items in cloze tests was calculated for the two groups of subjects, native speakers and second language learners. Her results showed that,
In all cases, the learners supplied relatively more cores than the native speakers, and the chi-square for the whole task, being far in excess of the 3.84 required for a 95% reliability level of signicance, heavily supports the theory that learners use more core transitive verbs than do native speakers. (1993: 109)

These results are also precisely as predicted. In another study, Ijaz (1986) studied linguistic and cognitive determinants of lexical acquisition in a second language. Adopting a prototype approach, Ijaz investigated native speaker and language learner use of a set of semantically related English prepositions, i.e. on, on top of, upon, onto, over, and above. Ijaz demonstrated that centrality of category membership was a key determinant in language learners acquisition of lexical items. Several of her ndings are interesting in light of our discussion. First, in instances where the central members (prototypes) of L1 and L2 categories were the same, the language learners showed much more native-like lexical use. As Ijaz describes it, ESL learners approximate native speakers more closely in the meaning they ascribe to typical or central instances of semantic categories than in the meaning ascribed to noncentral ones (1986: 433). She explains her ndings concerning the specic categories of spatial relationships she studied with reference to the basic-level at which the most central members were found. Thus we see the eect of centrality (prototype pull) and level of schematicity (basic-level) on learners linguistic choices. Second, Ijaz found that the native speakers and language learners perform dierently as regards less central members and boundaries of semantic categories. In explaining this, Ijaz claims that language learners operate in accordance with what she refers to as a semantic equivalence hypothesis (1986: 437). The claim is that, conceptual patterns and linguistic/semantic coding practices in the L1 provide the essential criteria for those in the L2 (ibid). This means that for lexical categories with diverging structure in L1 and L2, the structure of the L1

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category is utilized in lexical decisions in L2, resulting in nonnative patterning. Ijaz describes two nonnative lexical patterns, over- and underuse. Overuse was demonstrated when the most central member of a category was selected by language learners where a native selected a less central member in the same context. This is gravitational pull, in our terms. In the case of underuse, category distinctions that were missing in L1, but present in L2 resulted in underuse of corresponding lexical items in L2. In other words, language learners did not as frequently access L2 structures that did not share congurations with their L1 networks. This cross-linguistic asymmetry is precisely what was found by Mauranen and Tirkonnen-Condit, as discussed in Section 3.3. Another result from Ijaz study is interesting in light of our discussion. Ijaz found that, in some instances, nontypical meaning features of close translation equivalents to on in the subjects native language were not transferred to the L2, although such transfer would have resulted in the use of an appropriate response term in English (1986: 439). This is a case in which the posited semantic equivalence hypothesis is overridden. As Ijaz puts it, it is possible that because a noncentral meaning feature was involved, subjects were reluctant to transfer this meaning (1986: 440). Ijaz also cites similar results found in studies by Kellerman (1978, 1979), who found that of the polysemous senses of Dutch breken, central ones were transferred more readily to an L2 than noncentral ones (Ijaz 1986: 446). These ndings are clearly eects of cognitive asymmetry working in two ways: willingness to transfer central meanings, and unwillingness to do the same for noncentral meanings. Ijaz points out, however, that noncentrality in itself cannot account for her subjects overriding the semantic equivalence hypothesis in the case in point. As she points out, coping with noncentral senses in lexical categories is also aected by linguistic salience phenomena linked to the specic items in question. In short, though not expressly designed to do so, several SLA studies have provided evidence very similar to that found in translation studies. These studies indicate that lexical choices in a metalinguistic environment are sensitive to the asymmetric structure of semantic networks. All of this evidence supports the hypothesis put forward, i.e. that asymmetry in cognitive structures, or alternatively, variations in cognitive salience, will have eects on translation choices. These will include overrepresentation of linguistic items corresponding to gravitational centers in networks where such are found and, conversely, underrepresentation of corresponding linguistic items in networks where either no or several such centers are found. One aspect of Ijaz study requires further comment, and that is her semantic

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equivalence hypothesis. We recall that this hypothesis claims that language learners assume similarity of conceptual structure between their two languages, and that it is the structure of L1 that serves as the standard. Though Ijaz discussion utilizes the vocabulary of SLA, including such terms as assume, strategy, the actual claim of the hypothesis could be reformulated in order to link it to the key hypothesis under consideration here. The main idea is that the structure of the L1 network exerts pressure and pull which is greater, the less central a potential L2 item is its own network, i.e. as a consequence of asymmetry. There was also evidence to suggest that centrality within the L1 network itself is signicant for L2 choices. This idea could be investigated in terms of node connections and arc strengths, and this would further add to our understanding of cognition in bilingual processes. There are also serious consequences for the investigation of translation, in that these ndings suggest that the question of directionality needs to be considered in much more detail. 4.2 Origins of asymmetric structure Fundamental to the cognitive project is the assumption that cognition and language are embodied, i.e. that structures and processes are inherently part and parcel of our human body, and that they are a result of our situated (in-thebody) interactions with our surrounding environment. Features of the human perceptual apparatus and various aspects of our biological and social functioning are thus integral to the kinds of structure that evolve over time. As a consequence, the fundamental human-ness of cognitive patterning means that the processes and structures described here, for instance, will be universal, though their actual realizations will vary within a constrained space. (For more detailed discussions see Johnson 1987, Heine 1997.) The idea of cognitive salience and asymmetry in semantic structure, which is the focus of the current discussion, is intrinsically linked to the notions of embodiment and environmental interaction. The two types of structures we have discussed, prototypes and schemas, have been demonstrated to arise out of precisely such factors, for instance perceptual characteristics, behavioral patterns, including functions, etc. Unfortunately, it is beyond the scope of the current discussion to provide a discussion of this area. The point here is that the origins of the structures posited here as gravitational centers have been extensively documented. For relevant discussions, see e.g. Barsalou (1992, esp. Chapter 2), Gibbs and Colston (1995), Heine (1997), Lako (1987), Langacker (1987), Johnson (1987). For specic applications in linguistic analysis, see e.g. Goldberg (1998).

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It is also important to mention, in this context, that studies of child language acquisition have also demonstrated the kinds of eects that we have been discussing. In other words, the linguistic items corresponding to category prototypes have been demonstrated to be learned earlier (Lako 1987: 46). Similarly, light verbs, corresponding to basic event schemas, play a key role in child language acquisition (see Goldberg 1998 for discussion; see also Tomasello 1999). The key idea presented in this section is quite simple. The gravitational pull of certain cognitive structures has been demonstrated in the production of second language learners. The same structures have been demonstrated to play a particular role in childrens linguistic development. These same structures are taken to originate in fundamental characteristics of human beings, their environments, and the interaction between them. The overall signicance of these same structures in translation tasks should not come as any surprise.

5. Conclusion In this section, I will conclude, rst of all, by placing my account into the larger landscape of Translation Studies. This will involve addressing the issue of explanation. Secondly, I will try to make explicit the precise implications of my view for further research into translation universals. Some indications have been touched upon in the course of the discussion, and these will be stated more directly here. 5.1 Description, explanation and generalization In her seminal 1993 article, Baker dened universal features of translation as features which typically occur in translated text rather than original utterances and which are not the result of interference from specic linguistic systems (1993:243). In Tourys empirical/descriptive translation science, the aim of empirical science is to elaborate an increasingly coherent set of probabilistic laws. Such laws would be formulated as sets of conditional statements as follows:
If X, then the greater/the lesser the likelihood that Y (where Y is an observed behavior, or a certain part/aspect thereof, and/or their observable result, and X is the conditioning factor). (Toury 1995: 265)

Bakers universals are, in fact, potential probabilistic laws of this sort. In a reformulation such as the above, the potential patterns constitute the Y in the

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schema: they are the observed behavior, or candidates for it. The X is not explicitly stated, but is understood to be something intrinsic to translation as such. What makes this kind of statement so interesting is, of course, its status in a science. Generally speaking, the aim of science is to achieve better or deeper understanding of some phenomenon or set of phenomena. Understanding is equated with explanation of what has been observed. Moreover, one of the main assumptions on which empirical science rests is that broader generalizations constitute explanations of a deeper nature, relative to the object of study. In other words, the more observations that can be accounted for, the more variables that can be controlled for, the closer we are to the basic, or fundamental nature of the object. To take Translation Studies as an example, the idea is that if we can describe features of translated texts that characterize translations independent of source language/culture, target language/culture, the relationships between the languages/cultures, the individual translator, his/her working conditions, the point in time when the translation was created, etc., then we are approaching something deep about translation as such (see Toury 1997: 75f on factors that impact translation). It is important to mention that the aim for the broadest possible generalizations, or universal laws, probabilistic or otherwise, is common to all empirical science, regardless of the status assigned to the highest level generalizations. By some, universal laws may be regarded as statements of objective truth. By others, they may be considered theory-laden statements imbued with the perspective or perspectives of the human observer. In either case, generalizations are the objective.20 In attempting to sort out the relative positions of current studies on translation universals and my own view, I nd it helpful to adopt Crofts approach to linguistic explanation (1990: 246). Croft (see also Greenberg 1968, 1979, Bybee 1988) presents a more general framework for characterizing the notion of explanation in terms of generalization (1990: 248). This framework is described as follows:
Instead of using the dichotomy of description vs. explanation, one can describe grammatical analysis (or any other sort of scientic analysis, for that matter) with a scalar concept of degrees of generalization. The basic concept is that a more general linguistic statement can be said to explain a more specic one, though it may itself be explained by a yet more general statement. Thus, any given statement is an explanation for a lower-level generalization, but a description in comparison to a higher-level generalization. (ibid)

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Croft continues to elaborate on the three levels of generalization that are signicant for approaches to human languages (1990: 247):
The rst level is the lowest, the level of observation, that is what constitutes the basic facts of language. The second level is actually a set of levels, the levels of internal generalization. The third is that of external generalization, at which the linguist invokes concepts from psychology, biology and other realms outside the structure of the language.

In my view, this is a very fruitful way to address the issue of explanation with respect to Translation Studies in general, and universals research in particular. If we are to t current corpus-based studies21 into this scheme, then parallelcorpus studies would be found at the rst level, where translation-relevant relationships and structures are mapped in the context of specic language pairs. In Crofts account, the second level, internal generalization, involves language internal and cross-linguistic generalization. Crofts example here is relative clause structure in English, which could be compared either with other complex clause structures in English, leading to generalization over such complex sentence structures in English, or to relative clauses in other languages, leading to generalizations over similar structures across human languages. For Translation Studies, an analogous distinction can be illustrated in the investigations of simplication that we have considered earlier. For instance, at the rst level, studies such as Blum-Kulka and Levenston (1983) and Vanderauwera (1995) identify and exemplify simplication in translation between specic language pairs and with respect to specic linguistic indicators. Second-level generalizations over these studies may be based on either the linguistic indicators (e.g. specic lexical relationships or patterns of syntactic reduction), or on cross-language-pair comparisons of similar ndings (e.g. Klaudys 1996 generalizations over translation between a set of Indo-European languages and Hungarian). Bakers proposed universals and investigations such as Laviosas (1996, 1998) using the comparable corpus methodology represent generalizations at this level. The comparable corpus methodology aims at second-level generalizations in that it neutralizes the role of the specic languages involved. Thus it is analogous to cross-linguistic comparisons in Crofts framework. The third level of explanation is, as we recall, external generalization. At this level, explanations invoke language-external factors rooted in human psychology (and biology), sociology, etc. The highest level explanations, then, involve recourse to independently established features of human biological adaptation, through the intervening levels of cognition and social/cultural behavior (see

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also Chesterman 2001 on causes of translation universals). At present, research into translation universals has reached the stage of second-level generalizations. The proposed universals (or hypothetical universals) represent generalizations over numerous studies, and as such are explanatory with respect to individual studies of particular linguistic realizations and/or language pairs. What remains is to suggest third-level generalizations, i.e. explanations for these, which is precisely the objective of the present paper.22 I might conclude by returning to the general schema outlined by Toury, as mentioned in the introductory paragraph. The converse hypotheses put forward in this paper with respect to the role of cognitive asymmetry/salience in translation tasks will also t into the schema. The observed behavior (Y) would be patterns of simplication, generalization, conventionalization, etc., while the conditioning factor (X) is the presence/absence of particular salience structures. It still remains to be seen whether the observed behavior is particular to translation. Previous research suggests that it is not (see Section 4). 5.2 Researching translation universals In this nal section, I draw together several threads from the proceeding discussion in order to delineate the implications of my argument for future research on translation universals. Let me be quite explicit at the outset, my argument does not entail a major revision of current practices. What is does provide is two things: rst, the hypotheses that I have argued for here are an initial attempt to provide explanations for the types of results that have been emerging to date. Secondly, the discussion in Section 5.1 represents a means of unifying the research program by providing an overall framework within which the various studies can be related to each other. A lack of such coordination is a concern that several others have addressed previously, e.g. Chesterman (2001), Englund-Dimitrova (2001), Laviosa (2001). In the following, I will consider these two issues in turn. First, my argument on the structure and functioning of schematic semantic networks and their role in translation provides a pair of converse hypotheses that constitute third-level generalizations. In other words, in the event that they are adequately substantiated, they will have explanatory power with respect to translation universals as they are commonly studied. This is a rst attempt to provide the type of analysis that has been called for by Chesterman (2001, 2000) and Laviosa (1998), among others. It is important to point out, however, that the cognitive factors that I have described are by no means the only external factors

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that may be posited. Indeed, as I suggested in Section 5.1, there are also social/ cultural factors that must come into play. I might note, however, that for the universals thus far posited and investigated, I believe that the cognitive factors are far more important than the social ones. This remains to be seen, however. A further point that is of great signicance with respect to the hypotheses put forward is that cognitive salience/asymmetry in a semantic network is not to be understood as deterministic in any sense. That is, cognitive salience in a network will not be an absolute predictor of translation choices. Other factors may override the gravitational pull described here in any given case. Context, obviously, will constrain activation patterns. The argument is, rather, that translated language at an aggregate level will show an overall over- or underrepresentation of specic structures, which is a probabilistic, i.e. statistical, kind of claim that will pertain to larger bodies of text, rather than specic, individual instances of linguistic items. I believe that Crofts hierarchy of levels of generalization provides a fruitful means of relating dierent studies to each other. If, in specic studies of universals, we can make explicit the type of generalization we are aiming at, then a number of methodological inconsistencies will be eliminated. If we remember the two types of internal generalization at level two this becomes clear. Recall Crofts example of relative clauses in English, and how descriptions of such structures might be compared to other complex clause types in English or to relative clause constructions in dierent languages. Analogously, to take another translation universal that we have not discussed thus far, i.e. explicitation, we might distinguish between two types of investigation, aimed at dierent kinds of generalizations. In the rst, we might consider various linguistic means of achieving explicitation, i.e. lling-in of ellipses (see Lie 1998), addition of connectives (Halverson 1996), etc. These would be studied in specic language pairs prior to generalization. In the second, we might consider the same linguistic indicator, e.g. connectives, in translation between numerous language pairs. The two types of analysis would require two dierent kinds of corpora: the rst parallel corpora and the second multilingual corpora. Clearly, generalizations would be based on the results of many individual empirical investigations. The comparable corpus methodology deserves a special comment in this connection. In the examples mentioned above, comparisons were suggested between source and target texts. In the comparable corpus methodology, as we know, comparisons are between translated and non-translated text in the same language. It may appear then, that I see no place for a comparable corpus based

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approach. This is not so. As we saw in Section 3.2, analyses of the type carried out by Laviosa (1998; Laviosa-Braithwaite 1996) are instrumental at a key stage in the investigation, as they provide large-scale statistical pictures of the type that we must ultimately achieve. The role such analyses play is thus a heuristic one, and one that is vital precisely for the type of hypothesis generation that has been so rewarding and productive thus far. The analyses that I suggest at level two above thus represent the next stage in a ner grained testing of the universals hypotheses. In short, analyses such as those carried out by Laviosa, and later Mauranen and Tirkonnen-Condit, are instrumental and crucial for hypothesis generation. As we saw, however, broad generalizations such as exaggeration of TL features are too coarse, and are fallaciously falsied by studies such as Mauranens (2000) and Tirkonnen-Condits (2001). By deriving ner-grained hypotheses on the basis of external factors (potential third-level generalizations), we avoid the risk of prematurely abandoning good hypotheses. Thus, I see a development of the research tradition through a combination of hypothesis generation using the Baker/Laviosa comparable corpus methodology with ner grained analyses of the kind I argue for here. In investigating gravitational pull in schematic networks, I recommend adaptation of methodology presented in the study by Ijaz (1986), including the mapping of the conceptual networks. Such mapping would determine the relevant center(s) of gravity, or lack thereof, and consequently make predictions about translational eects. An important question here is brought to light by studies such as Klaudy (1996), which demonstrates that generalization in the movement from ST to TT may be forced by constraints in the networks, i.e. dierences in lexicalization. I would argue that such networks are less relevant here as their explanations lie in language-internal (level two) constraints. It is patterns of simplication/ generalization, etc. that are found in circumstances where there is no linguistic motivation for them that allow for third-level, external explanations. In the interest of time economy, researchers interested in pursuing this approach could make use of extant network mappings and proceed to prediction. Mappings exist for numerous linguistic items in a variety of languages in the cognitive linguistics literature. Predictions regarding translational eects based on these mappings could then be tested on corpus or experimental data. Thus the movement is from comparable corpus to monolingual corpora to parallel corpora, as hypotheses are generated, rened, and tested further. Step two will involve the detailed mapping of individual networks, and, due to the detail and complexity of the analysis will probably never be carried out for more than exemplary cases.

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This is, admittedly, a sketchy view, at best. Further development of methodology is obviously a requisite next step. However, even at this early stage, the contours of certain relevant issues are already visible. As we saw in Sections 2.4 and 3.1, the direction of translation into or out of the translators mother tongue is crucial in this kind of account. Even such issues as the translators bilingual history are not to be taken lightly. For the time being, my objective is gain recognition for the explanatory power of asymmetry in cognitive structures and processes in accounting for general lexical/semantic/syntactic patterns in translated text. An ancillary agreement to adopt an overall explanation/generalization framework would also be nice.

* Many thanks to Gideon Toury and another anonymous reader for helpful comments on an earlier version of this paper. 1. The use of the term universal is not unproblematic, as witnessed by the debate during the panel discussion on translation universals at the Third EST Congress in August 2001. For various reasons, I personally prefer Laviosas notion of core patterns or the scalar notion of generalization outlined in Section 5. As universals is the term in current use in the eld, however, I shall utilize it here without addressing its actual content. 2. This is, of course, reminiscent of the discussion of automated processes in translation process analysis (Jskelinen and Tirkonnen-Condit 1991), though there are important dierences as well. For instance, the notion of consciousness/awareness is not equated with any specic level of entrenchment as it is with automation. This and related issues will, however, not be pursued further here. 3. The literature on protoype categories is quite extensive. Important early references include Berlin and Kay (1969), Rosch (1975, 1978). Further discussion of the notion of prototypicality is found in Geeraerts (1989). For a survey of the development of the prototype account of categorization see Lako (1987). 4. As Langacker himself has pointed out, his concept of complex domain is compatible with, or partially overlaps similar notions of scenes, frames, scripts, and idealized cognitive models (1987: 150, note 4; see also Taylor 1989: 8790). It is not possible to explore potential complementarities at length here, though there may be signicant gains in doing so. 5. In the following, I follow Langacker in focussing on two levels at which asymmetry is signicant. These two levels are sucient for the task at hand. Geeraerts (2000) has provided a more detailed taxonomy of what he refers to as salience phenomena which are the same as the asymmetry eects discussed here. His initial cut between perspectival and variational salience corresponds roughly to the aspects of asymmetry located in domains/ matrices and networks, respectively.

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6. For the antecedents of the model see de Groot 1992. For references to similar approaches in studies of lexical structure in monolingual settings, see de Groot 1993. 7. This is not to say that either cognitive psychology and/or cognitive grammar ultimately reduce to neuroscience. For a discussion of an alternative to theory reduction, see Bechtel 1988, especially Chapter 6. 8. This is also discussed by de Groot (1993), albeit in a dierent context, in her argument for a mixed representational system. 9. After all, as we remember from Jakobson, All cognitive experience and its classication is conveyable in any existing language (in Chesterman 1989: 56). And, Languages dier essentially in what they must convey, not what they may convey (in Chesterman 1989: 58). 10. Remember that grammatical structures are also symbolic, and that they too contribute to the selection of access nodes at the conceptual level. 11. Such overrepresentation may either be relative to non-translated text in the target language or relative to an (imagined) translation equivalent that would correspond precisely to the semantic representation of the ST item. In other words, the relationships that are evaluated and found to be simpler, more normal, more conventional, etc. may pertain either between an ST and a TT item, or between TT items and broader TL patterns. It is important to keep these two separate, however, as they are important at dierent stages in an investigation. This is discussed further in Section 5.2. For a discussion of these and other issues related to classication of translation universals, see Chesterman 2001. 12. They also discussed approximation, word coinage and the use of converse terms (Blum-Kulka and Levenston 1983) in addition to transfer in their discussion of communication strategies of lexical simplication. These three can also be described in terms of cognitive organization and functioning presented in Section 2. However, these patterns are not generally associated with simplication in other studies, and they are of a dierent kind. These processes would be related to search processes, and may or may not involve the pull of salient structures. Approximation might be related to category centrality and/or frequency, while the other two could be found in cases where no such highly salient structures were activated. This remains speculative at the present stage, however. 13. It is important to note that norm necessarily entails a cognitive component. In other words, conventionality will be linked to high frequency, which is, in turn, related to salience in the schematic network. 14. Thank you to Gideon Toury for bringing up this issue. See Toury (1995: 206) for further discussion and references to additional work on the subject. 15. Another of Bakers initial universals, explicitation, has also been the subject of some investigation (Blum-Kulka 1986, Klaudy 1996, Halverson 1996, Lie 1998, vers 1996). This universal is not being dealt with in the present paper not because I dont believe that it does not have a cognitive explanation. Indeed, I believe it does and that such an explanation is related to the notion of construal (see Halverson 2001). This is a dierent issue, however, and must be dealt with separately. 16. The dynamic and exible nature of prototype categories cannot be overemphasized. Indeed, empirical research has shown that category structure varies both across individuals

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within a community and across individuals over time (Barsalou 1987). Signicantly, members of prototype categories are more or less central, and the most central member is not most central in any absolute sense. 17. This is not to say that there may not be an accepted or conventional translation for such an item. Oftentimes it is the case for items that are highly relevant in one way or another that translation trainees are taught to use such a conventional translation. In such an instance, corpora will reveal an unexpectedly high convergence on a translation. 18. There must be a distance connection for Tirkonnen-Condits verbs of suciency. The notion of suciency in itself is not specic to Finnish. However, its encoding in a verbal structure distinguishes Finnish from many other languages, and makes the accessing of these verbs from very dierent access points a more laborious cognitive task. See note 6. 19. The issue of directionality is one that has not been given the signicance that it is due in Translation Studies, though see Marmaridou (1996) and Pokorn (2001). Thankfully most of the corpora that are coming into existence provide information on the translator and his/her linguistic biography, such that this factor may be controlled for. 20. This crucial point is often misunderstood, as empirical aims are mistakenly equated with a quest for absolute truth. See the Forum discussion on Shared ground in translation studies in Target 12:2 and 13:1, specically Halverson (2000). 21. I utilize Bakers (1995) categories of translational corpora in the discussion. 22. Mauranen (2001) argued for three types of translation universal, i.e. cognitive, social and linguistic. Within the current framework, the rst two would be level three, as they would posit explanatory factors in cognitive processes and social/historical contexts, respectively. The latter, linguistic universals, would be at the second level. Similarly, Chesterman (2001) was concerned with classication of universals, and posited three types: prescriptive, pejorative, and descriptive. The rst two categories, prescriptive and pejorative, have more to do with predictions about attitudes to translations than about translations themselves. The latter, descriptive universals, covers what I have referred to as level-two generalizations.

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lheure actuelle, on tente rarement de fournir des explications externes pour les structures subsumes sous la rubrique universaux de la traduction. Cet article examine les bases cognitives de structures /processus tels que : la simplication /gnralisation, normalisation, standardisation, censure et amplication de proprits linguistiques de la langue-cible. Le cadre adopt est celui de la grammaire cognitive et le propos tenu le suivant : tous les processus cits proviennent dasymtries dans lorganisation cognitive de linformation smantique. Jestime cependant que le cas inverse est galement vrai : des cas dabsence dasymtries manifestes produiront un eet oppos dans les textes traduits. Enn, je cherche replacer largument dans une perspective plus large : en me rfrant la notion scalaire de gnralisation dnie par Croft (1990), jentame une discussion sur lexplication en tudes de traduction.

Authors address
Sandra Halverson Department of English University of Bergen Sydnesplassen 7 N-5007 BERGEN, Norway e-mail: