Morphosyntactic predictability of translationese

Dmitry Nikolaev*, Taelin Karidi, Neta Kenneth, Veronika Mitnik, Lilja Saeboe, Omri Abend

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Scopus citations


It is often assumed that translated texts are easier to process than original ones. However, it has also been shown that translated texts contain evident traces of source-language morphosyntax, which should presumably make them less predictable and harder to process. We test these competing observations by measuring morphosyntactic entropies of original and translated texts in several languages and show that there may exist a categorical distinction between translations made from structurally-similar languages (which are more predictable than original texts) and those made from structurally-divergent languages (which are often non-idiomatic, involve structural transfer, and therefore are more entropic).

Original languageAmerican English
Article number20190077
JournalLinguistics Vanguard
Issue number1
StatePublished - 1 Jan 2020

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2020 Walter de Gruyter GmbH, Berlin/Boston 2020.


  • corpus linguistics
  • entropy
  • morphosyntactic processing
  • structural transfer
  • translationese


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