Semantic Prosody and Meaning Equivalence: Is Korean pin konggan Equivalent to ‘Empty Space’ or ‘Blank Space’\ulcorner

의미운률과 의미 등가성: ‘빈 공간’은 ‘empty space’인가 ‘blank space’인가\ulcorner

  • Published : 2003.12.01


The purpose of this paper is to show that lexical equivalency in translation can be achieved when it is based on semantic prosodies of lexical items. This paper examines the semantic prosodies of two seemingly synonymous English adjectives ‘empty’ and ‘blank’ on the basis of the corpus given in Cobuild English Collocations on CD-ROM and proposes that they are different in terms of spatial dimensions. Thus when a Korean equivalent pin derived from the verb pita is translated into English, syntagmatic phraseological environments of the Korean adjective must be taken into account to attain the equivalency of the source and target languages. Relevant Korean corpus was taken from the 21st Century Sejong Plan (2002). Out of 12 examples of pin konggan, five appear to be equivalent to ‘blank’ and seven to ‘empty.’ The five to seven ratio in different usage indicates that the equivalency problem concerning the lexical item pin is not a trivial matter in translation.