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Syntax of Croato-Glagolitic texts translated from Latin


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Mihaljević, Ana. (2018). Syntax of Croato-Glagolitic texts translated from Latin. PhD Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of Linguistics.
(Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike) [mentor Pranjković, Ivo].

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The syntax of Croato-Glagolitic texts translated from Latin and the syntactic influence of Latin on the language of Croatian Church Slavonic translations are analyzed in this thesis. The methodology depends on the description of the corpus elements and it is mainly descriptive, interpretative and contrastive, based on the so-called basic linguistic theory (Dixon 1997, 2010, 2012 and Dryer 2006). In addition, the principles of contact linguistics and translation theory, as well as the theory of processing of sentences and parsing called syntax/syntactic/structural priming, are being consulted. The influence of priming is the phenomenon of facilitating sentence processing after the subject has been exposed to a sentence with a similar syntactic structure. The corpus of analyzed texts consists of a number of Croato-Glagolitic texts of different type and content for which it is known that they have been translated from Latin or have been composed following a Latin protograph. The corpus includes these apocryphal texts: Vita Adae et Evae (Life of Adam and Eve), Evangelium Nicodemi (Nikodem's Gospel), Protoevangelium Jacobi (Jakob's Protogospel); hagiographies: Lectio s. Margaritae (Čtenie s(ve)te Margarite), Tractatus de purgatorio sancti Patricii (Čistilište svetoga Patricija), Vita Mariae Magdalenae (The Life of Maria Magdalena); books of the Bible: Liber sapientiae (Wisdom of Solomon), Ester (Esther), Libri Machabaeorum Duo (Books of the Maccabees), and breviary office for St. Anthony of Padua. In addition to these complete texts, some features have been additionally examined in the corpus of the Croatian Church Slavonic Dictionary of the Old Church Slavonic Institute. Translation as the place of contact between two languages has long been neglected. The text type, the attitude of the translator towards the text, the level of standardness of the language, the status of the language from which a text is translated and into which it is translated, as well as the attitude of the translator towards translation, affect the level of influence of the source language on the target language. The translations of Biblical texts, the texts that the translators have felt as those which transfer religious truths and which should not be changed by translation, have followed the original most closely. While translating from one foreign language into another the translator is influenced by his mother tongue, the structure of which influences the language of the translation. The translator is subconsciously shaped by his mother tongue and the structures of the mother tongue can sometimes be reflected in the translation. This influence depends on the level of knowledge of the language from which the translator translates, the language into which he translates as well as translation techniques, especially the consciousness of the difference between word-for-word translation and free translation. Latin and Croatian Church Slavonic are two languages which had a similar status throughout the Middle Ages. Both languages didn't have native speakers, i.e. Latin had gradually lost its native speakers and finally had no native speakers. Latin was, depending on the territory on which it was used, modified according to the native language of the speakers. This is similar to the mixing of Old Church Slavonic with the native idioms of its speakers (Chakavian amalgam). Christian Latin was under a strong influence of Greek and Hebrew, the structures of which penetrated into Latin via Biblical texts, which had been translated from them. The situation was similar in Croatian Church Slavonic as the language was also under the influence of translation and in addition under the influence of Latin as well as Greek and Hebrew. When a translator translated from Latin into Church Slavonic he was translating from one literary language into another, none of which were his native languages. Thus the translators were under the influence of the source language as well as their native language which, although similar to Croatian Church Slavonic, was not equal to it. Matějka (1968:274) stresses that in these translations three systems interact and that, in addition to the fact that the translator knows all three systems and is conscious of their interaction, an important fact is how educated and stylistically competent he is. The following features have been analyzed: syntax of prepositional phrases, use of participles, translation of periphrastic conjugation active, ablative absolute (with participle present, with participle perfect, without participle), translation of gerunds and gerundives, translation of periphrastic conjugation passive, infinitive constructions (accusative with infinitive, nominative with infinitive), use of dependent clauses (translation of conjunctions and conjunctives by the conditional and indicative), negation, and word order (position of the verb, the relation of adjectival attribute and noun, position of nominal attribute). In translations from Latin into Croatian Church Slavonic, most of the prepositions have been translated by their prototype translational equivalents. Thus in Old Church Slavonic translations, some Croatian Church Slavonic prepositions are used in meanings which are not prototype for them. The most common case of Latin influence on the syntax of prepositional phrases are the translations of the Latin preposition de by the preposition ot when introducing the topic of conversation or a literary work as well as the translation of the preposition ad by the preposition k when introducing the recipient of the message. These features sometimes occur even in cases when de and ad do not appear in Latin. These features have probably spread due to Italian influence. However, Latin influence can be seen in the use of the preposition ot in cases in which Croatian Church Slavonic would typically use some other preposition, e.g. the use of that prepositions in expressions meaning 'connected with'. The preposition k occurs as a translational equivalent of the preposition ad also in other non-spacial meanings as is the expression of intention. Under the influence of Latin, some other prepositions (e.g. pro, na etc.) also broaden their meaning. The Latin participle is most often translated by Croatian Church Slavonic participle due to the very developed participle system in Croatian Church Slavonic. The participle is more often translated by a participle then by a relative or other dependent clauses to be formally close to the original as the translators usually like to choose the translational equivalent which is the closest to the original although today relative clauses are the translational equivalent of participles and in Croatian Church Slavonic texts they occur very often. The present participle is most often translated by active present participle but is often translated by the first active present participle, especially when talking about an action the duration of which is perceived as short, when the action directly precedes the action of the main verb or when dealing with verbs which have a prototype finished meaning. The passive participle is most often translated by the first active past participle or by the passive past participle. The first active past participle is the most common translational equivalent while translating the participle of deponent verbs because of its active meaning. The greatest challenge for the translator while translating the participle is how to translate the future participle which has no formal correspondent in Croatian Church Slavonic. Thus different structures mostly close to the expression of the future occur in translations of such constructions. This participle also occurs as a part of the construction of the periphrastic active conjugation which is often translated very similarly as an independent future participle often with the addition of the verb biti in order to render the original Latin structure as fatefully as possible. Periphrastic active conjugation rarely occurs in the analyzed corpus. As this is a construction having relatively low occurrence there are no common ways in which it is translated. As the translators sometimes try to imitate the structure of the construction, the verb biti often appears as one of the constituent elements in the translation. Often the forms of the verbs hotêti and imêti, which are also used for translating the future participle. With verbs biti, hotêti and imêti the infinitive or participle of verbs often occur in translations. Sometimes the construction is translated by finite forms. The imitation of the original structure can be seen very often in the translations of ablative absolute which is in translations mostly translated by Croatian Church Slavonic absolute constructions in the dative or the instrumental, which occur in translations because the translators consider them to be the translational equivalents of the ablative. While translating ablative absolute, absolute constructions occur much more often than dependent clauses which are today the translational equivalents of this construction. While translating the ablative absolute the word order of the original is mirrored closely. The Latin participle as a part of that construction is translated by the present or past participle. Present participle is often translated by the past participle of perfective verbs when dealing wit prefixed verbs and verbs which are considered as momentary by the translator (e.g. veniente abbate: opatь prišad'še). Gerund and gerundive are two forms having no formal correspondent in Croatian Church Slavonic. Thus they are translated in various ways. The most common way of translating gerund and gerundive which replaces the gerund is by means of a verbal noun. With the gerund in intentional meaning or in the meaning of purpose, the preposition ad often occurs; this preposition is translated by the preposition k in other contexts as well. The use of the preposition k as an equivalent of the preposition ad is caused by their spacial meaning. However, under the influence of Latin, the meaning of the preposition k is broadened and it appears in non-spatial meanings of the preposition ad as well. One of these meanings is the meaning of intention or purpose with the gerund. However, the preposition ad with the gerund is translated with other spatial prepositions which are in some contexts equivalent to the spacial ad, as are na and v. The preposition na in Croatian Church Slavonic and contemporary Croatian can have the meaning of purpose and is thus one of the most frequent equivalents of the Latin ad in contemporary Croatian. The infinitives having the meaning of purpose occur as translations of the gerund. With the prepositions causa and gratia, the gerund is translated by the noun with the postposition of purpose radi. Less often while translating the gerund and gerundive the participles, mostly passive, occur and they are mostly in the instrumental. In some examples, it is obvious that the translators did not understand the original meaning of the gerund and the sentence in the translation is unintelligible because of the translator's wish to imitate the original structure. Periphrastic passive conjugation is a Latin construction the translation of which presents a challenge for translators. As the gerundive occurs in the construction which doesn't have a formal correspondent in Croatian Church Slavonic, translators translate this construction in different ways. Some translators imitate the structure of the original fatefully while others deviate from the original trying to convey the Latin debitative meaning as fatefully as they can. Some translators use the constructions consisting of the dative, the infinitive and the verb biti (e.g. Scala illa erigenda est: Onu skalu postaviti e n(a)mь) which exists in Croatian Church Slavonic and is close to the Latin construction in meaning as well as in structure. Other translators try to translate the gerundive which is a part of the Latin construction literally and instead of using constructions with the infinitive translate such constructions with passive participles and use sometimes passive present participle and sometimes passive past participle. Thus, under the influence of Latin the constructions with passive present participle with the verb biti (eo quod occidendus esset ab eis: togo radi êko ubiem' bêše ot nih') or passive past participle with the verb biti (a deo est, inquit, hoc consilium requirendum: ot b(og)a estь si s(vê)t' iziskanь) are used. In order to stress the debitativeness, some translators translate the forms of the verb biti with the imperative (Quae tamen lecta frequenter ab abbate scrutinanda sunt propter opus peculiare ne inveniatur: I te postile od' opata često budite iziskane da potaene tvari v nihь ne naiet se). In some examples, the translators deviate from the Latin structure trying to emphasize the debitative meaning. Such examples are translated by the imperative Qui codices in caput quadragesimae dandi sunt: I te knigê na počt'e korizme vzdaite se. The debitative meaning of the periphrastic passive conjugation is expressed by the forms of the verbs imêti, htêti, moĉi or trebati. Due to the attempt to translate the gerundive fatefully verbal nouns or nouns having meanings similar to that of verbs from which the gerundive is derived occur in translations. This is the most common way of translating the gerund. Sometimes the periphrastic passive conjugation is translated by the finite verb and the translation transmits neither the structure nor the meaning of the original. Under the influence of the Latin protograph the sentences having the construction accusative with the infinitive occur. While translating that construction the translators try to copy the structure of the original as fatefully as they can and they translate the accusative with the accusative and the infinitive with the infinitive. Sometimes such sentences are translated by declarative sentences with da and êko or, with the verbs of perception, by the accusative participle. Another problem is presented by the infinitives which do not have a formal correspondent in Church Slavonic such as passive infinitives and future and past infinitives. The passive present infinitive is translated by the active present infinitive in which the accusative becomes the object. Thus the meaning of the Latin construction is fatefully translated but its structure is changed as the accusative is no longer the subject but the object of the infinitive. The future infinitive is translated either by the combination of the infinitive and the present participle which imitates the Latin structure or by the infinitive and the participle of the verb imêti. The infinitive perfect active is translated by the past participle (Ratus autem Menelaus accepisse se tempus opportunum: uzrêv že menesaulь priem’ša sebê vrême potrêbnoe). The infinitive of the passive perfect, as it consists of the past participle, is translated by the participle. The construction accusative with the infinitive can be translated by the accusative and accusative participle. Sometimes the construction accusative with the infinitive is translated by declarative sentences with the conjunctions da and êko. Nominative with the infinitive occurs rarely and there is no unified way of translating it. This construction is sometimes translated literally, and the main verb is translated with the reflexive pronoun. Future infinitive, as well as the accusative with the infinitive, are translated by the infinitive with the participle present of the verb imêti. The nominative with the infinitive is also translated by the declarative sentence and there are also some examples of inconsistent translations. While translating dependent clauses, the greatest problem is the translation of verbal forms as in Latin some types of dependent clauses occur with the conjunctive which is sometimes used according to the rules of sequence of tenses and sometimes absolutely. As in Croatian Church Slavonic conjunctive forms do not exist, the translators are often at a loss how to translate them. The forms of the conjunctive present are most often translated by the indicative, but sometimes they occur with the conjunction da to stress the difference from the indicative. The past conjunctives are sometimes translated by the conditional. Most frequently the conjunctive, imperfect, and pluperfect are translated by the conditional. In most sentences, such a translation is due to Latin influence as we are dealing with the sentences which do not express potential or wish characteristically expressed by the conditional. The problem in translating is also the difference in the usage of certain conjunctions in Latin and in Croatian Church Slavonic. In Latin, conjunctions cum and ut occur very often and they are conjunctions of different sentence types. Under the influence of Latin and the prototype usage of conjunctions, one type of dependent sentences is often translated by another type. Moreover, in Croatian Church Slavonic under the influence of Latin, some conjunctions broaden their meaning and usage. Sometimes Latin also influences the decision of the translator which of the synonymous conjunctions he will use as he tends to translate different Latin conjunctions by different Croatian Church Slavonic conjunctions. Dependent interrogative sentences are mostly translated literally and their structures in Latin and Croatian Church Slavonic are very similar. Under the influence of Latin sentences, which are in Latin introduced by the originally conditional conjunction si, the sentences are translated by the conditional conjunction aĉe. One of the characteristics of medieval Latin is the frequent occurrence of explicative sentences instead of the construction accusative with the infinitive. Explicative sentences are one of the characteristics of Biblical texts. In Latin explicative sentences in the analyzed corpus the conjunctions quia and quod most commonly occur as their meaning broadens in vulgar and medieval Latin. Due to the originally causal meaning, the conjunction quia is mostly translated by conjunctions êko and ere, which are causal conjunctions in Croatian Church Slavonic. The conjunctions of explicative sentences are often translated by the conjunction da, which is a prototype conjunction for introducing explicative sentences in Croatian Church Slavonic. Rarely under the influence of the Latin original is the conjunction quod translated by a relative pronoun. The conjunctions quomodo and qualiter occur as conjunctions of explicative sentences due to their original meaning translated by the adverb kako. Latin final sentences are usually literally translated into Croatian Church Slavonic by final sentences. Due to the fact that in Latin final sentences are mostly introduced by the conjunction ut, the prototype meaning of which corresponds with that of the conjunction da, which is a prototype conjunction of Croatian Church Slavonic sentences, their translation usually doesn't present a problem. Less often the final sentence is replaced by the participle, infinitive of prepositional phrase in the translation as these are the ways in which the final meaning can be expressed in Croatian Church Slavonic. The final sentence is sometimes translated by an independent clause, mostly copulative, by which the original meaning is changed from the final to the already realized. Less often the final sentence is translated by other types of dependent sentences and the translator misinterprets them as some other sentence type. Negative final sentences are mostly introduced by the conjunction da, and the verbal forms are negated, but sometimes the sentence with the conjunction eda appears as the translation of the negative final sentence. As a translation of the imperfect conjunctive most often the conditional appears. However in final sentences, this doesn't present a deviation from the Croatian Church Slavonic norm as in final sentences, in general, the conditional can appear. Sentences after verbs of will and desire are translated literally or by infinitive constructions. The conjunctive imperfect in these sentences is mostly translated by the conditional, type I to be as close as possible to the Latin original. Latin temporal sentences with almost all conjunctions are most often translated by temporal sentences with conjunctions kada or egda. The conjunction egda appears in all Biblical texts. In the translations, the temporal sentences appear as translational equivalents of other Latin clausal types especially when introduced by the conjunction cum, which the translator interprets as a temporal conjunction due to its prototype sentence meaning. The imperfect and pluperfect conjunctives are sometimes, especially in Biblical texts, under the influence of Latin translated by conditionals. Causal sentences are most often translated into Croatian Church Slavonic by sentences introduced by the conjunction êko regardless of which conjunction appeared in the Latin sentence. Often in the corpus, the conjunction ere appears as the translation of the conjunction quia. Sometimes the conjunctions zane and Chakavian začь appear as translations of the Latin causal conjunction. The conjunction cum in the causal meaning is often translated temporally because of its prototype temporal meaning. Sometimes the choice of the conjunction in Latin influences the translation. In the text The Life of Maria Magdalene, the use of conjunctions ere and začь/zane depends on the Latin original. While translating Latin concessive sentences the structure of the Latin conjunction is mostly fatefully imitated. Thus the translational equivalents of the conjunctions etiamsi and etsi are differentiated as the calques takožde aĉe and oĉe aĉe are used as translations of etiamsi as opposed to aĉe/ako i which is used as a typical concessive conjunction and the equivalent of the conjunction etsi with which it corresponds formally. The concessive conjunction cum is often mistranslated as a temporal conjunction as the translators understand it in its prototype temporal meaning. Concessive conjunction licet is not identified as a conjunction and is translated by a verb. Consecutive sentences appear relatively rarely in the corpus. The sentences are in Latin introduced by the conjunction ut, which is most often translated by the conjunction da, which is the most frequently occurring conjunction of Church Slavonic consecutive sentences. The conjunction êko, which is also a consecutive conjunction, appears less often. Consecutive sentences are sometimes translated without a conjunction or by a copulative sentence. While translating conditional sentences the translators try to imitate Latin structure and do not focus on stating clearly the level of the realizability of each condition. Thus the translators mostly do not differentiate between real and potential sentences as in potential sentences conjunctives occur which are prototypically translated by indicative forms. In unreal conditional sentences, the conditional appears as a means of translating the Lain conjunctive imperfect and pluperfect. The conjunction si is systematically translated either by the conjunction aĉe or by a more recent conjunction ako. The conjunction nisi is under the influence of Latin translated by the conjunction aĉe which is directly preceded by the negation but does not negate the predicate, which would be a prototype way of negating the whole sentence. Latin comparative sentences are usually translated into Croatian Church Slavonic by comparative conjunctions êkože and kako. The conjunction êkože usually appears as a conjunction in Biblical texts. The conjunctions sicut and tamquam are often translated by the conjunction lêki. Those comparative sentences in which there is a conjunctive in Latin are translated into Croatian Church Slavonic by sentences with a conditional. In order to stress the potentiality or unrealizability in some examples, in addition to the comparative conjunction, the conjunction da appears, which sometimes appears in other types of dependent clauses as a translation of the conjunctive and with the conjunctive in independent clauses. Relative clauses in Croatian Church Slavonic and in Latin have a very similar structure, thus they do not cause many problems for the translator. As translations of the relative pronoun the pronouns iže, êže, eže or ki, ka, ko appear depending on the text. Latin influence is seen in sentences in which the conjunctive occurs because the conjunctive imperfect is translated by the conditional, although as in Croatian Church Slavonic the conditional can occur in relative sentences, this is not exclusively due to the influence of Latin. This is seen in some translated sentences in which relative connection occurs with pronouns ki, ka, ko at the beginning of the sentence. The Latin negation is mostly translated into Croatian Church Slavonic by the general negation ne. Negations nec and neque, which mostly introduce a coordinated negated sentence or a negated constituent, are mostly under the influence of Latin translated by the negation ni. In Croatian Church Slavonic, following the Latin model, mostly there is no negative concord with adverbs and pronouns. In Latin, the position of the negation is different from that in Croatian Church Slavonic. The negation non in Latin tends to be in front of the finite verb, while the negations nec and neque stand in front of the whole sentence part which is negated. Unlike Latin, in Croatian Church Slavonic translations the negation is mostly put in front of the finite verb. Still, under the influence of Latin, some sentences in which a language constituent is placed between the negation and the finite verb occur. In most texts word order mostly follows the word order of the original. This is especially true for Biblical texts which have very few deviations from the original word order. The Latin word order in which the verb occurs at the end of the sentence is often mirrored. It is interesting to note that the verb occurs at the end of the sentence even in some examples in which in Latin it occurs in front of another constituent. In such cases, we can see the tendency of the translator to unify the style of the whole document. In some cases, in the translation, the verb appears before the object or adverbial phrase and sometimes before the subject. This is probably caused by the unconscious influence of the mother tongue but also maybe by topicalization of a particular sentence element. While translating the nominal phrase, the adjectives occur mainly after the noun they refer to even when they do not occur in that position in Latin. However, there are numerous deviations from this tendency. The order of the noun and the causal and final preposition radi is always reversed. Taking all the above into consideration we can conclude that the syntax of CroatoGlagolitic texts translated from Latin is under considerable influence of Latin syntax. Biblical texts follow the original text fatefully, but even other texts mostly follow the original fatefully and try to mirror its structure. It is obvious that the translators have the awareness which are the prototype ways of translating certain language features. This is probably due to the way Latin was taught and learned at the time. In order to remain faithful to the Latin protograph sometimes the translators disregard the meaning of the text and produce unintelligible sentences.

Item Type: PhD Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: sintaksa, hrvatski crkvenoslavenski, latinski, prijevodni utjecaji, zavisnosložene rečenice, infinitivne konstrukcije, participi, prijedložni izrazi, negacija, red riječi
Subjects: Classical philology > Latin language and Roman literature
Slavic languages and literatures > Croatian language and literature
Departments: Department of Linguistics
Supervisor: Pranjković, Ivo
Additional Information: Poslijediplomski doktorski studij lingvistike
Date Deposited: 13 Dec 2018 10:41
Last Modified: 13 Dec 2018 10:41

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