Universitat Rovira i Virgili

Courtney Parkins

Courtney Parkins holds a BA in Economics and Spanish and graduate degrees in Linguistics and Economics from Temple University, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. He has completed the Masters in Translation and Intercultural Studies at Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona. He has taught Spanish and French at Lincoln University in Pennsylvania, worked as a freelance translator mainly of economics and maritime texts, and as a freelance interpreter in the tri-state area of Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware. Currently he is a freelance translator and English-language trainer in Berlin, Germany.

Translators as agents of lexical transfer: Evidence from the standardization of Curaçaoan Papiamentu

Supervisor: Anthony Pym

Research summary

This research investigates whether professional Papiamentu translators act as agents of lexical transfer in Papiamentu while the language is in standardization. The quantitative aspect of it develops on a questionnaire sample of translators and non-translators. The qualitative aspect develops on an open-ended question on the questionnaire, an interview sample of selected language planning personnel and an analysis of selected Papiamentu translated and non-translated texts. The quantitative results show that in general the translators make more lexical transfers than do the non-translators, and that language prestige, employment stability, text sensitivity, professional experience and formal training play important roles. The qualitative results show that it is ultimately the official language planning authorities who carry out, by consensus, the formal admission of all lexical items into Papiamentu. However, English-to-Papiamentu lexical transfer implies an overlooked involvement of the "frontline" translators in this process. That said, the fact that some of the language planners themselves are also translators suggests a further connection between translation and the lexical transfer process hence a confirmation of the translators as agents of lexical transfer.

Publications

2012. Parkins, Courtney. "Taking the Bull by the Horns: Professional Curaçaoan Papiamentu translators and writers facing the challenges of globalization head-on". In Nicholas Faraclas, Ronald Severing, Christa Weijer, Elisabeth Echteld and Wim Rutgers (eds), Researching the Rhizome: Studies of Transcultural Language, Literature, Learning, and Life on the ABC Islands and Beyond. Proceedings of the ECICC-conference, St. Thomas 2012. 1: 347-363.

Forthcoming. "Translational Standardization of Caribbean Creoles through Unrelated Lexifier Source Languages: Evidence from Curaçaoan". (Presented at the conference Meaning in Translation: Illusion of Precision and submitted for publication in March 2012). 

Conference presentations

2012. Parkins, Courtney. "Taking the Bull by the Horns: Professional Curaçaoan Papiamentu translators and writers facing the challenges of globalization head-on", paper presented at the 15th Annual Eastern Caribbean Island Cultures Conference (ECICC) "The Islands in between" Languages Literatures and Cultures of the Eastern Caribbean, University of the Virgin Islands, St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands, 7-11 November.

2012. Parkins, Courtney. "Translational Standardization of Caribbean Creoles through Unrelated Lexifier Source Languages: Evidence from Curaçaoan Papiamentu" paper presented at the conference Meaning in Translation: Illusion of Precision, Institute of Applied Linguistics, Riga Technical University, Riga, Latvia, 12-15 September.

2009. Parkins, Courtney. "Translation and Standardization of Caribbean Creole Languages", presented at New Research in Translation and Interpreting Studies, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona, Spain, June 25-27.

Viva December 17, 2014

Examining committee :
Dr. Outi Paloposki (University of Turku)
Dr. Esperança Bielsa (Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona)
Dr. Amado Alarcón (URV)

External experts
Dr. Esther Monzó (University of Graz) 
Dr. Reine Meylaerts (KU Leuven)