Corpora have revolutionized nearly all areas of linguistic research over the past four decades (McEnery, Xiao and Tono 2006; McEnery and Hardie 2012). Translation studies and contrastive linguistics are no exceptions. Indeed, the rapid development of bilingual parallel corpora as well as monolingual and multilingual comparable corpora since the early 1990s has been of particular relevance and crucial importance to translation studies and contrastive linguistics. This special issue of Corpus Linguistics and Linguistic Theory focuses on corpus-based translation and contrastive linguistic studies involving two genetically different languages, namely English and Chinese, which we believe have formed an important interface with its unique features as a result of the mutual interaction between the two languages. This introduction will first contextualize the special issue by exploring the state of the art in using corpora in translation and contrastive linguistic studies, particularly in the context of the two languages covered, and then provide a synopsis of each article included in this volume and comment on its significance and implications for linguistic theorization.
About the authors
Richard Xiao is Lecturer in the Department of Linguistic and English Language at Lancaster University in the UK. His main research interests cover corpus linguistics, contrastive and translation studies of English and Chinese, and tense and aspect theory. In addition to dozens of journal articles, he has published numerous books including Aspect in Mandarin Chinese (John Benjamins, 2004), Corpus-Based Language Studies (Routledge, 2006), A Frequency Dictionary of Mandarin Chinese (Routledge, 2009), Using Corpora in Contrastive and Translation Studies (Cambridge Scholars, 2010), Corpus-Based Contrastive Studies of English and Chinese (Routledge, 2010), and Corpus-Based Studies of Translational Chinese in English-Chinese Translation (Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press, 2012). Richard is a member of editorial boards for international journals including Chinese Language and Discourse, Corpora, Foreign Language Learning Theory and Practice, Glossa, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Languages in Contrast, and the Corpus-Based Translation Studies book series of Shanghai Jiao Tong University Press.
Naixing Wei is Professor of English at Beihang University in China, where he also serves as Vice Dean of Foreign Languages School, and Director of Linguistic Sciences and Engineering Laboratory. He is currently the president of the Corpus Linguistics Society of China (CLSC). With an MA in English from Birmingham University and a PhD in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics from Shanghai Jiao Tong University, his major research interests cover methodology in corpus construction, corpus-driven studies of issues in applied linguistics, Contrastive Interlanguage Analysis, English for Academic Purposes, and phraseology. In the past decade Naixing has directed three research projects supported by the China National Social Sciences Foundation and two research projects funded by China's Ministry of Education, and has published five monographs and 30 research papers. He is a member of editorial board for the journals of Contemporary Foreign Languages and Foreign Languages and Their Teaching.
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