Analysis of Grammatical Agreement Errors in L1/L2 translation

159 grammatical agreement errors collected from the translation projects of nine Saudi graduating seniors majoring in translation were analyzed. A grammatical agreement error was defined as the incorrect inflection of nouns, verbs, adjectives, anaphoric pronouns, and determiners to show a mismatch in singular, dual, or plural forms or a mismatch in masculine and feminine gender in correspondence with a subject, modified noun or antecedent. There were more disagreeing verbs than pronouns than adjectives. There were more gender than number agreement errors and more interlingual than intralingual. 27% were due to incorrect gender assignment to the controller or target, 3% were due to the inability to determine the number of the controller or target, 24% were due to inability to associate the verb, pronoun or adjective with its correct referent. There were more agreement errors when the controller was singular and plural, when the plural controller was non-human and when the controller was feminine.

Prof. Reima Al-jarf
King Saud University
Riyadh, Saudi Arabia

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