Collocational Constructions in Translated Spanish: What Corpora Reveal

  • Gloria Corpas Pastor
Conference paper
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 10596)


In recent years, Construction Grammar has emerged as an enhanced theoretical framework for studies on phraseology in general, and particularly for collocational analysis. This paper aims at contributing to the study of collocational constructions in translated Spanish. To this end, the construction [V PP_ de miedo ] is analysed in detail. Our methodology is corpus-based and compares subtitled translations with general Spanish, American Spanish and Peninsular Spanish. The findings suggest that collocational constructions in translated Spanish have a clear preference for the Peninsular standard. They reflect features of translationese, as well as universal traits such as simplification, normalisation, and convergence. Another interesting finding refers to corpus selection, as giga-token corpora appear to provide more fine-grained analysis that conventional, balanced corpora.


Collocation Collocational construction Translated spanish Simplification Normalisation Subtitled translations Corpus 



The research presented in this paper has been partially carried out in the framework of the research projects Inteliterm (FFI2012–38881), Termitur (HUM2754) and Vip (FFI2016-75831-P).


  1. 1.
    Baldwin, T., Kim, S.N.: Multiword expressions. In: Indurkhya, N., Damerau, F.J. (eds.) Handbook of Natural Language Processing, 2nd edn, pp. 267–292. CRC Press, Boca Raton (2010)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Bosque, I. (dir.) Diccionario combinatorio práctico del español contemporáneo: las palabras en su contexto. Madrid, SM (2006)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Pastor, G.C.: Register-specific collocational constructions in english and spanish: a usage-based approach. J. Soc. Sci. 11(3), 139–151 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  4. 4.
    Pastor, G.C.: Translating English verbal collocations into spanish: on distribution and other relevant differences related to diatopic variation. Lingvisticæ Investigationes 38(2), 229–262 (2015)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. 5.
    Pastor, G.C.: Collocations in e-bilingual dictionaries: from underlying theoretical assumptions to practical lexicography and translation issues. In: Torner, S., Bernal, E. (eds.) Collocations and Other Lexical Combinations in Spanish. Theoretical and Applied Approaches, pp. 139–160. Routledge, London (2017)Google Scholar
  6. 6.
    Croft, W.: Radical Construction Grammar. In: Hoffmann, T., Trousdale, G. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar, pp. 211–232. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2013)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Gatto, M.: The ‘body’ and the ‘web’: The web as corpus ten years on. ICAME J. 35, 35–58 (2011)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Goldberg, A.E.: Constructions: a construction grammar approach to argument structure. University of Chicago Press, Chicago (1995)Google Scholar
  9. 9.
    Goldberg, A.E.: Constructions at Work: The Nature of Generalization in Language. Oxford University Press, New York (2006)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Halliday, M.A.K.: Lexis as a linguistic level. In: Bazell, C.E., Catford, J.C., Halliday, M.A.K., Robins, R.H. (eds.) Memory of John Firth, pp. 148–162. Longman, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. 11.
    Hoffmann, T.: Abstract phrasal and clausal constructions. In: Hoffmann, T., Trousdale, G. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar, pp. 307–328. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2013)Google Scholar
  12. 12.
    Jones, S., Sinclair, J.: English lexical collocations. A study in computational linguistics. Cahiers de Lexicology 24, 15–61 (1974)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Kilgarriff, A., Renau, I.: esTenTen, a Vast Web Corpus of Peninsular and American Spanish. Procedia Soc. Behav. Sci. 95, 12–19 (2013)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Real Academia Española (n.d.). Banco de datos (CORPES XXI). Corpus del español del siglo XXI. Last accessed 10 Aug 2017
  15. 15.
    Seretan, V.: Syntax-Based Collocation Extraction. Springer, Dordrecht (2011)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  16. 16.
    Stefanowitsch, A.: Collostructional analysis. In: Hoffmann, T., Trousdale, G. (eds.) The Oxford Handbook of Construction Grammar, pp. 290–306. Oxford University Press, Oxford (2013)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Stubbs, M.: Two quantitative methods of studying phraseology in English. Int. J. Corpus Linguist. 7(12), 215–244 (2002)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  18. 18.
    SketchEngine Homepage. Last accessed 16 Aug 2017
  19. 19.
    Tiedemann, J.: News from OPUS - a collection of multilingual parallel corpora with tools and interfaces. In: Nicolov, N., Bontcheva, K., Angelova, G., Mitkov, R. (eds.) Recent Advances in Natural Language Processing V. Selected Papers from RANLP 2007, pp. 237–248. Amsterdam and Philadelphia, John Benjamins (1999)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Toury, G.: Descriptive Translation Studies and Beyond. John Benjamins, Ámsterdam (1995)CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Translation and InterpretingUniversity of MalagaMálagaSpain
  2. 2.RIILPUniversity of WolverhamptonWolverhamptonUK

Personalised recommendations