AWEJ for Translation & Literary Studies, Volume 7, Number 2. May 2023 Pp.2-15

The Discourse Function of Preposing in English and Arabic with Reference to Translation

Department of English Language and Translation
College of Science and Arts, Methnab, Qassim University
Buraydah, Saudi Arabia


The current study aimed to explore the phenomenon of preposing in the English and Arabic languages, and to identify its main salient characteristics and functions. It also attempted to address the most frequent translation problems associated with this phenomenon and to propose solutions to such problems based on sound scientific and theoretical grounds. Preposing refers to advancing a sentence constituent to the initial position for rhetorical or structural purposes. This study employed the descriptive analytical approach to delineate and analyze the various aspects of this phenomenon by reviewing a set of examples in multiple contexts. From a theoretical perspective, a sentence that involves a transition of one of its elements is considered a marked sentence as contrasted with the unmarked one that adopts the typical arrangement of words. This study concluded that syntactic discrepancies among languages might cause translational complications, particularly with word order. Moreover, it was found that fronting is used more frequently in Arabic than in English. Hence, a structural shift proposed by Catford (1965), is one of the suggested solutions to such complexities. Finally, it is worth noting that this study has some pedagogical implications, as the realization of language similarities and contrasts can contribute to facilitating the process of second language acquisition. In addition, this knowledge helps enrich the linguistic repertoire and the teaching content of language instructors.

Cite as:

Alolaywi, Y.  (2023). The Discourse Function of Preposing in English and Arabic with Reference to Translation. Arab World English Journal for Translation & Literary Studies 7 (2): 2-15.
DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.24093/awejtls/vol7no2.1


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Dr. Yasamiyan Saleh Alolaywi is an Assistant Professor of Applied Linguistics, College of Science and Arts, Methnab, Qassim University, Saudi Arabia. Her research interests include second language acquisition, pragmatics, and translation. Dr. Alolaywi has presented research at national and international conferences. She has also published articles in highly-ranked journals and conference proceedings. ORCID ID: https://orcid.org/0000-0003-2749-7558