This article was published in Lebende Sprachen 3/2001


Dirk Siepmann


Multi-word Discourse Markers in Translation: a Corpus-based Investigation into Restrictors




The present article attempts to give a detailed cross-linguistic picture of such second-level markers as erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass. These items may be assigned to the pragmatic-functional category of second-level markers I have termed 'restrictors'. As their name suggests, restrictors indicate a restriction. More specifically, they signal that the stretch of discourse to which they refer reduces the ambit, or the significance, of either the preceding or the subsequent discourse. Common lexicalized restrictors include but, however, anyway, in any case or at least, to name but a few English examples. Multi-word restrictors are lexico-syntactically more diverse, ranging from prepositional phrases (to my knowledge) through sentence fragments (a word of warning about ...) to clauses of concession (having said that) and other subordinate clauses (wenn ich richtig sehe).


1. Introduction


In the last ten years there has been an upsurge of interest in the cross-linguistic investigation of discourse markers. Most of the relevant studies deal with lexicalized markers that have already been subjected to monolingual analysis: for example, Ballard (1995) and Quillard/Akhras (1996) are concerned with similarities and differences between the English coordinator and and its French counterpart et; Macnamara (1995) seeks to identify English translation equivalents for French adversative connectors; Fraser/Malamud (1996) make an insightful comparison of the behaviour of English and Spanish contrastive discourse markers such as but or pero; Salkie/Oates (2000) investigate a collection of cases where English although corresponds to French mais. By contrast, little is known about discourse devices which might be described as 'multi-word' or 'second-level' markers (Siepmann, in preparation). A second-level marker, in its simplest definition, is a recurrent multi-word expression performing a pragmatic and/or text-structuring function. There remains a conspicuous dearth of investigations into this kind of phraseological unit, with the notable exception of Gallagher's (1992) study of the German signalling device erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass and a few entries in Grieve (1996).

Building on the work of these predecessors, the present article attempts to give a much more detailed picture of such second-level markers as erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass. These items may be assigned to the pragmatic-functional category of second-level markers I have termed 'restrictors'. As their name suggests, restrictors indicate a restriction. More specifically, they signal that the stretch of discourse to which they refer reduces the ambit, or the significance, of either the preceding or the subsequent discourse. Common lexicalized restrictors include but, however, anyway, in any case or at least, to name but a few English examples. Multi-word restrictors are lexico-syntactically more diverse, ranging from prepositional phrases (to my knowledge) through sentence fragments (a word of warning about ...) to clauses of concession (having said that) and other subordinate clauses (wenn ich richtig sehe). From a textlinguistic perspective, two broad divisions are discernible, viz. anaphoric vs. cataphoric restrictors. Anaphoric restrictors such as with this in mind indicate that the preceding discourse was of the order of a restriction, whereas cataphoric restrictors such as einschränkend sei darauf hingewiesen, dass signal that the preceding discourse is about to be qualified. In pragmatic terms, Gil's (1995) distinction between Diskursbrücken, or linking adverbials, and Diskurskommentare, or stance adverbials, may be invoked. Many restrictors serve as linking adverbials, while restrictive stance adverbials are a relatively small group.

It is impossible in the space of a brief article to do justice to the full range of multi-word restrictors available in English, French and German. I shall therefore focus on just two pragmatic-functional categories:


·        restrictors introducing an adverse point

·        restrictors introducing an additional adverse point


The study draws its data from three different types of computer-readable text archive in each language:


·        the largest reference works available on CD-ROM (Britannica CD, CD-ROM UNIVERSALIS, Gabler Wirtschaftslexikon CD-ROM); these will be cited respectively as EB, EU, GW.

·        CD-ROM editions of wide-circulation quality newspapers and magazines (The Times, The Guardian, The Economist, Le Monde, Les Echos, Frankfurter Rundschau, Süddeutsche Zeitung); the English, French and German corpora compiled from these sources will be referred to respectively as NE, NF and NG.

·        a twenty-million word corpus of academic texts produced from reviews, journal articles, doctoral theses and portions of books. The corpora contain only complete texts, with the one exception of book chapters, which are usually self-contained in their discursive structure. The domains represented in the latter are literature, linguistics, history, sociology, philosophy, psychology, economics, musicology, theology, political science, education, law and medicine. 1980 was taken as the baseline year for the selection of published material, although less than 20 per cent of the corpus texts predate 1990. The English, French and German academic corpora will be cited respectively as CAE, CAF and CAG.


2. Restrictors introducing an adverse point or a minor restriction


Second-level markers of this type fall into two major syntactic categories: nominal and verbal constructions. The primary function of both is to introduce a minor contrast with what precedes, or, more specifically, a warning, caveat or objection. I shall first discuss general similarities and differences in function and syntactic realization between English, French and German nominal restrictors (Section 2.1) before proceeding to consider nominal and verbal restrictors separately for each language (Section 2.2-2.4). I conclude by discussing the question of translation equivalence (Section 2.5). To make the scope of this investigation more manageable, I have deliberately excluded from consideration restrictors which overtly express criticism, such as kritisch ist anzumerken, dass. The following table provides a brief overview of the set under discussion:


the catch / caveat / constraint / difference / difficulty / downside / drawback / exception / problem / proviso / snag / trouble / twist is that

the objection to this is that

one difference / a problem is that (etc.)

the only constraint is that

a great handicap is that (etc.)


except that / save that

with the caveat / constraint / difference / exception / restriction / peculiarity / proviso / twist that

subject to the proviso that

with the crucial proviso that

with the principal difference that

with the added twist / handicap / disadvantage / complication that


some caveats are needed (etc.)

a word of caution is in order (etc.)

First, a note of caution.

A word of warning about


It must be borne in mind that (etc.)

it should be noted that (etc.)

it is important to remember that (etc.)

note that

la différence est que

la (seule) difficulté / le (seul) hic / le malheur / l'os / le problème, c'est que


seule différence : (etc.)


avec une différence :

avec une légère nuance:

A quelques réserves près, toutefois

Avec une nuance significative, cependant

Avec une différence fondamentale, cependant:

avec ce paradoxe que (etc.)


sauf que / excepté que / sinon que

à ceci près que / à cela près que

à la différence / nuance / réserve près que

à cette différence / exception / nuance / parenthèse / particularité / réserve près que

à ce détail / paradoxe près que (etc.)

avec cette différence que


une dernière restriction est à faire encore:

une réserve néanmoins

il est permis de faire quelques réserves

il existe cependant une réserve

quelques ombres au tableau, cependant:

une grande prudence sur ce point est de mise : (etc.)

ein Unterschied ist, dass

eine Besonderheit ist, dass

die Einschränkung jedoch ist, dass

das Problem ist, dass

die zweite Schwierigkeit ist, dass

das (etc.)


Mit einer Einschränkung: (etc.)


wenn man davon absieht, dass (rarely: abgesehen davon, dass)

einmal davon abgesehen, dass

außer dass / nur dass

mit dem Unterschied, dass

mit dem gravierenden Unterschied, dass (etc.)

mit der Einschränkung, dass

unter/mit dem Vorbehalt, dass

mit der einen Ausnahme, dass

mit der Maßgabe, dass

mit der Besonderheit, dass

wobei allerdings


einschränkend muß jedoch festgehalten werden, dass (etc.)

dabei ist zu beachten, dass (etc.)

zu bedenken ist, dass (etc.)

dem steht entgegen, dass


ich muß vorausschicken, dass

es sei bereits hier vorweggenommen, dass

einschränkend sei hier allerdings vorweggenommen, dass

vorwegnehmend ist klarzustellen, dass (etc.)

man muß sich davor hüten (+ INF.)


Fig. 1: Restrictors introducing an adverse point


2.1 Noun-based restrictors


The above overview indicates that, in English and French, most restrictors of this type are built around an abstract head-noun; German, while also offering a fair number of such constructions, appears to favour verbal constructions. The nominal restrictors in this group may be seen as more specific variants of the lexicalized conjunctions except that / save that, à ceci près que / sauf que (etc.) and nur dass / außer dass. Grieve (1996: 33), in a brief overview of some French members of this set, wrongly claims that 'there is no neat English equivalent' for the French structures. As a scrutiny of the above list of corpus examples will show, there are in fact a number of fairly obvious correspondences between the languages in question: with the difference that - avec cette différence que - mit dem Unterschied, dass; with the peculiarity that - avec cette particularité que - mit der Besonderheit, dass; with the exception that - à cette exception (parenthèse) près que - mit der einen Ausnahme, dass. Another criticism that could be made of Grieve (1996) is that he overestimates the frequency with which à ceci près que and its variants are placed at the beginning of a new sentence rather than inside the sentence they qualify, putting such cases at 80 per cent of all occurrences. A rapid trawl through any corpus of contemporary French reveals that this figure must be revised downwards to around 50 per cent. This is nevertheless an interesting fact insofar as sentence-initial placement is infrequent with the English equivalents of à ceci près que.


2.1.1 Function


The nominal restrictors in question are almost identical in function to their lexicalized counterparts, as illustrated by examples like the following:


Teams like Andorra, Germany, Lithuania have been involved but the driving forces are the same, with the difference that England, and perhaps France, are up there, too. (NE)


When he spoke in 1972 as the first Jew to give the opening address to the Presbyterian College in Belfast where his grammar was a standard textbook he exhibited two ancient Byzantine lamps. They were almost the same, except that one was decorated with a cross at its end, the other with a seven-branched candlestick (the menorah) over a palm branch. (NE)


Part of the semantic prosody of these connectors is that the preceding discourse sets up an expectation which is then qualified in the subsequent discourse. Thus, as in the above examples, words signifying identity may be found in the preceding context, and the subsequent discourse then proceeds to name minor points of dissimilarity. It should be noted that, while except that, à ceci près que and außer, dass can always be substituted for their nominal variants, the converse does not hold good, as seen in the following example, where with the difference that could not be substituted for except that.


they will achieve nothing except that at the next election the Conservatives will be consigned to opposition (NE)


It is also noteworthy that, in all three languages, these restrictors have scope over a stretch of text which is usually no longer than two sentences at most, and may be as short as a noun or adjective phrase. Consider the following examples:


An understandable slip, you might think, except that Celtic supporters tend to be less than understanding when the names Paul McStay and Raith  Rovers happen to crop up in the same sentence. (NE)


Still, his happiness in retirement is clearly real, save that the new compilation allowed him to do new links and you  just know he needed no second bidding. (NE)             


One of the attractions for Latin Link is that it will be following in the steps of British adventurers, sailors, traders and administrators, who were active in and around the Mosquito Coast in the 17th, 18th and 19th  centuries (the region was only formally handed over to Nicaragua in 1894) but with the difference that it has wholly peaceful intentions. (NE)


C'est un exemple d'hypercollision, analogue à celui de l'Himalaya, à ceci près que la cicatrice téthysienne est ici en avant du cisaillement crustal qui la recouvre. (EU)


Dès l'entrée du 29, Regent's Park Road, une petite rue de la partie la plus fleurie et bourgeoise du quartier de Camden, à Londres, on comprend beaucoup de choses. Derrière deux jeunes standardistes, un immense tableau, réplique du collage qui illustrait la pochette de l'album des Beatles, Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, vous accueille dans le petit monde du label Creation. A ceci près que ce ne sont plus les visages de Marilyn Monroe, Karl Marx, Oscar Wilde ou William Burroughs ni ceux de John, Paul, George et Ringo qui composent la galerie de portraits, mais les photos des membres de Primal Scream, My Bloody Valentine, Jesus and Mary Chain, Oasis et d'autres artistes maison qui entourent le parterre de fleurs rouges dessinant le nom de la maison de disques à la place de celui des "Fab Four". (NF)


En Bulgarie, ce n'est pas encore le cas à Belgrade, il existe, depuis l'alternance, une sorte de dialogue entre le pouvoir et l'opposition, et il semble d'ailleurs que celle-ci ait été surprise par l'ampleur des dernières manifestations qu'elle n'avait pas officiellement organisées. Mais les pourparlers, ouverts samedi, ont vite tourné court. Alors, comme en Serbie, les défilés vont se poursuivre quotidiennement devant le Parlement de Sofia. A cette différence près que les syndicats bulgares - ils l'ont annoncé - pourraient bien se joindre rapidement au mouvement et décréter une grève générale. (NF)


Georges Mazarguil, natif de Sousceyrac, ouvre, en 1926, à la porte Maillot, un établissement à l'allure d'un vieux bateau de ligne, avec boiseries et cuivres. Et tout au long des coursives, l'on poursuit la vraie tradition d'un passé culinaire - gigot, fraise de veau, abats et pied, avec de bonnes frites. Un conservatoire de l'ancienne cuisine. A cette différence près que le produit n'est plus ce qu'il était. En entrée, harengs marinés, tête de veau sauce gribiche, escargots de Bourgogne, puis les grands classiques, andouillette, tripes, morue fraîche-purée de pomme de terre.   (NF)


That said, however, additional observations based on higher-resolution detail show a number of divergences between the languages in question, to be discussed separately below.


2.1.2 Syntactic realizations


The nominal restrictors with which we are concerned occur in two different environments:


a)      in prepositional phrases with the respective frames with/on + the (+ adjective) + noun + that, avec + definite article/demonstrative pronoun + noun + que, mit/unter + definite article (+ adjective) + noun + dass or

b)      as subjects of clauses with that-clause complements, with the peculiarity that the latter environment cannot be occupied by all the French and German nouns in question (une différence est que vs. *une réserve est que).


The appositive clause introduced by that, que or dass respectively is the 'lexical realisation' (Winter 1982) of the head-noun. In other words, the clause following the restrictor expands the noun, signalling what the difference, caveat, handicap, etc. consists in. Indeed, the English frame with the (+ adjective) + noun + that may be seen as a frozen syntactic variant of a participial clause from which the participle being has been dropped. Evidence for this comes from occasional occurrences such as the following:


This income splitting plan seems very similar to the tax system in place back in 1948, with the only major difference being that the combined rate would be split in half and taxed at half the rate twice, with the same result as before. (CAE)  


2.2 English nominal and verbal restrictors


This section discusses English nominal and verbal restrictors in sequence.


2.2.1 English nominal restrictors


The present study is not the first to discuss the phraseological constraints placed on the set of English nouns which go to make up nominal restrictors, but it is the first to do so from a pragmatic-functional perspective and in an exhaustive manner. In an overview of English nouns controlling appositive that-clauses, Francis (1993: 153) claimed that 'proviso occurs only in the environment with the proviso that/subject to the proviso that' and 'difference requires the environment with the crucial/key/important difference that', as well as adducing evidence to suggest that complication occurs only in existential clauses or in the environment with the added complication that. My own intuitions about the language, and the corpus enquiries I have conducted, clearly belie these claims; proviso, difference and complication are found with the copular verb be and a that-clause complement, as are caveat, constraint, disadvantage, exception, handicap, peculiarity and twist. Proviso also occurs in the environment on the proviso that, and difference can also be modified by the pronoun only or by other adjectives such as major, principal, primary or vital. Here are a few examples of these nouns occurring both in the with-frame and the copular-clause environments; it should be noted in passing that only a handful of the copular-clause uses and none of the with-frame uses identified here have been recorded in the extensive Cobuild study of English nouns (Sinclair 1998):


Britons spent 12.5m nights in West Germany (as it then was); on the West German figures, Britons spent only 2.5m nights there. With the caveat that almost every figure in this survey is suspect, it can at least be said that the world travel and tourism industry is huge. (NE)


Loach's movie, like Tarantino's, is about men shooting each other, with the caveat that those who went off to the Spanish civil war applied an ideology to their trigger fingers. (NE)


From one point of view, gene therapies are transplants; from another, they are just drug treatments with the added twist that the drug is being made inside the body. There already exist sets of rules for trying out drugs. (NE)


The principal caveat is that an institution should adopt and customize guidelines that are suitable for the prevailing conditions and enlist the support of the entire health care team to enforce the guidelines.  (CAE)


Another complication is that state universities often establish separate campuses across the state. (CAE)


The second important complication is that some rides may be used to capacity. (CAE)


The only constraint is that the narrow-universe-band system must not ask the broad-universe-band systems what they are doing. (CAE)


The exception is that the PC, unlike Apple and Acorn computers, is not capable of reading a range of disc formats.  (NE)


A big handicap is that their organisations tend to be more complicated - and hence more heavily staffed with costly expatriate managers - than those of their Japanese rivals. (NE)


The proviso is that nothing goes seriously wrong with the economy. (NE)


But the twist is that in Vattimo's argument, this is not simply vanguardism (NE)


Three further sets of constraints need to be mentioned. Firstly, there is some evidence pointing to restrictions on adjectival complementation of the nouns under discussion. The corpus data suggests that the noun complication is usually pre-modified by another or a further, but rarely by the indefinite article alone. This means that SLDMs with the head complication would be more conveniently classified as restrictors introducing an additional adverse point. Corpora larger by at least one order of magnitude would be needed to fully elucidate such questions.

The second type of constraint concerns the placement of nominal restrictors introduced by with. With the caveat that is the only one to occasionally occupy sentence-initial position; all the other members of the set are placed at the beginning of a subordinate clause following the main clause. The subordinate clause is sometimes set off by a colon:


My discussion of the rise of discourse on han in Korea demonstrates this typology, though with one very important caveat: discourse on han points out the identity of the Utopian with pain. (CAE) 


The third constraint is a stylistic one: two of the restrictors in question, namely those based on catch and snag, tend to occur only in newspaper language.


There is also some evidence of with-frames realized as complete mini-sentences:


Are the rest all neophytes? Yes, with a caution: some neophytes are more serious than others.


In 1992, suburban commuters on the Long Island Expressway in New York made off with about Dollars 300,000  that fell from a Wells Fargo truck.  The cynic's conclusion is that, in a country where casino gambling is now  elevated to the status of 'economic development', an armoured car spewing out money is just another accepted route to success. With one small difference. Gambling-money is put up by people willing, and even eager, to risk it. (NE)


A final point to be noted is that restrictive second-level markers with the frame with/on + NP + that may co-occur with the adversative one-word connectors but, albeit and though:


Browning repeats the desire of Gluck's Euridice for "un sguardo solo [a single look]," but with the difference that his Eurydice seems to have an instinctive understanding that what she asks for may cancel out her redemption from the Underworld. (CAE)


Instead he gave them something close to whole-hearted backing, albeit with the caveat that perhaps there will have to be some form of regulation to control the power of the new media regulator. (CAE)


Over and above this, there is a whole range of sentence-fragment and complete-sentence restrictors which display greater syntactic flexibility than with-frame restrictors. These are built around the nouns caveat, caution, (word of) warning and qualification, and around the verbs or verb phrases qualify, bear/keep in mind, remember and note. Caveat occurs in existential sentences (there is a caveat here, there are caveats to these conclusions, there is an important caveat that should be mentioned), elliptical phrases (one caveat on this chapter) and with verbs such as add, mention, bear in mind and need, usually in a mode expressing necessity (some caveats are needed, we must bear in mind an important caveat here). This mode can also be expressed by means of the phrase in order (at least two caveats are in order). Caution may be used on its own, but also enters the fixed expressions word of caution and note of caution, which in turn co-occur respectively with in order and due or the verb sound. The syntactic realizations we find here are similar to those of caveat, with the exception that existential clauses are impossible. Some examples of possible wordings:


a word of caution is in order

a word of caution is due here

a word of caution:

a word of warning needs to be sounded, however

First, a note of caution.

a note of caution should be sounded

one important caution

a caution must also be noted, though

This statement needs some qualification.     


The verb qualify may also be used to form restrictors of this type, usually occurring in the passive voice after a noun phrase subject.


This needs to be qualified somewhat.

This conclusion must be qualified, however, by the facts that


Other, more marginal items may be built around the nouns adjustment, allowance or deduction.


a number of adjustments have to be made to this figure

an allowance has to be made for

a deduction has to be made for


2.2.2 English verbal restrictors


The verbal second-level markers in this group are borrowings from the category of emphasizers. They thus do not have the primary function of introducing a restriction; rather, they draw the reader’s attention to a crucial, unexpected or perhaps forgotten aspect of the topic under discussion, an aspect which may well happen to carry with it an element of restriction. A large number of these restrictors begin with anticipatory it, thus initiating an extraposed structure. The structure may be controlled either by an adjective phrase or a verb phrase containing one of the auxiliaries must, should, will or be to (the latter being almost obsolete in this use). Other structural frames include clause fragments based on the imperative note or the subject pronouns you and one followed by a modal verb (you will note) and the obsolescent frame let it + passive infinitive (let it be borne in mind that). Both the adjectives and the auxiliaries in question express necessity:


it is crucial / important / essential / instructive to note / remember that

it must / should / will / has to / is to be remembered / noted / borne in mind

you will note that

one should note that (etc.)


As examples of this use of emphasizers as restrictors, consider the following:


The second effect is that whereby a seller or supplier attempts to limit or exclude liability for total or partial  non-performance or inadequate performance of his contractual obligations. These eventualities are already  adequately covered in U.K. national law. Section 3 of the 1977 Act deals with similar circumstances and  provides that such liability may be excluded if it is reasonable to do so. However it should be remembered that  this section applies only to situations where one party deals as consumer or on the other party's written standard  terms of business. (CAE)


2.3 French nominal and verbal restrictors


Again, we shall consider nominal and verbal restrictors in turn.


2.3.1 French nominal restrictors


Here too we find a number of important constraints. Thus it turns out that of the seven French nouns which normally fill the frame avec/à + demonstrative pronoun + noun (+ adjective) + que (see Fig. 1), thereby functioning as variants of the restrictor à ceci près que, only two, namely différence and particularité, can also be used in the copular-clause variant, with the added constraint that particularité must be accompanied by a genitive or the pronoun en (which may replace a genitive):


La particularité en est que c'est sur les caractéristiques dévalorisantes de l'objet que se porte l'identification. (CAF)


Two other nouns which go to make up copular clauses, namely hic and os, tend to occur in journalistic rather than academic French.

To further confound the picture, adjectives are extremely rare in the environment avec/à + demonstrative pronoun + noun (+ adjective) + que, but this structural deficiency is offset by occurrences of the copular-clause frame as well as by ones in which the restrictor forms a complete sentence of its own or is placed clause-initially and set off by a colon. Both variants have been overlooked by Grieve (1996).


La combinaison dollar-yen fait que les produits européens se retrouvent au même niveau de compétitivité qu'à la fin de l'année 1996. Avec une différence notable, toutefois. A l'époque, la croissance mondiale était là. (NF)


" Face à la brutalité de l'attaque ", M. Hue a appelé à une " protestation nationale au président de la République ", invitant " tous les démocrates à inonder le site internet de l'Elysée ". M. Hue a également saisi cette occasion pour s'adresser au gouvernement. Avec une nuance significative, cependant : s'il a " tancé " Jacques Chirac, il a seulement " alerté" Lionel Jospin, précise L'Humanité du 7 décembre. (NF)


Note that the concessive link made by the multi-word restrictor is often enhanced by the one-word restrictors cependant and toutefois, especially in the environment just illustrated.


A number of French restrictors of the sentence-fragment type can be built around the nouns ombre and tableau; these tend to co-occur with the one-word restrictors cependant, pourtant and néanmoins. Well-worn examples include quelques ombres au tableau, cependant and seules ombres au tableau. Here are two more sophisticated examples:


Dionysos est honoré dans de grandes fêtes, joyeuses et graves à la fois (Dionysies champêtres et urbaines, Lénéennes, Anthestéries), et suscite l'élan prodigieux du théâtre. Il inspire en même temps un mysticisme orgiaque dont les Bacchantes d'Euripide donnent à la fin du siècle un mémorable exemple. Cependant quelques ombres viennent à partir de 440 nuancer ce tableau. La philosophie développe un rationalisme qui va se montrer dangereux pour les vieilles croyances. En 415, les mystéres d'Éleusis sont parodiés et les hermès sont mutilés aux carrefours. Euripide et Aristophane raillent les dieux. (EU)


culte de la vérité et de la justice, adoration d'un dieu, qui n'est que la Raison universelle. Mais ce tableau idéal a ses ombres: les conciles sont un peu ridicules, un «autocéphale» lance un caricatural manifeste. (EU)


2.3.2 French verbal restrictors


As in English, there exist a large number of emphasizers doing occasional duty as restrictors. Since they share all their features with their English counterparts, they would not need to be given further consideration here if it were not for the extreme resourcefulness of French writers, leading to a much larger number of lexico-syntactic variants than is the case in English. The first thing to note here is the diverse ways in which necessity may be expressed more or less strongly in French; apart from the future tense (on notera) and the hortative (notons) we find the following sentence fragments combining with the infinitive: on doit (noter), à (noter), il faut (noter), il convient de (noter), il importe de (noter), il est / paraît intéressant / important / nécessaire / utile / bon / crucial de + noter, il n'est pas superflu / indifférent de + noter. The major verbs entering these patterns are noter, remarquer, préciser, voir, souligner, signaler, mentionner and rappeler. A moderately common nominal variant is il est digne de remarque que. As is to be expected, there are some preferred combinations occurring with particular frequency, such as:


il est bon de rappeler

il convient de souligner

il est à noter que


Added to this is a second type of syntactic diversity which allows brief interpolated clauses to be constructed from some of the above variants; these frequently involve inversion (e.g. rappelons-le, objectera-t-on), thus structurally resembling such reformulatory markers as disons-nous.

Many of these restrictors are remarkable as taking both clausal and nominal complementation, with the nominal variant being less frequent but stylistically superior (e.g. il convient de souligner l'importance qu'il y a à +INF vs. il convient de souligner qu'il est important de + INF).

To conclude, consider the following example of a French emphasizer in a restrictive mode:


trois principales voies s'offrent à lui, capables de concilier son désir de demeurer dans la mentalité et le tempérament d'Occident, et la nécessité d'une revivification par l'Orient. (...) La troisième - par laquelle nous commencerons, et qui fera l'objet du chapitre suivant, - renvoie à l'action désintéressé et l'amour mystique, mais adapté aux aspirations et aux possibilités de l'Occidental moderne. Il nous faut encore préciser que ces voies peuvent chacune se suffire à l'exclusion des deux autres, ou être, au contraire, suivies soit simultanément, avec prédominance effective de l'une sur les autres, soit à tour de rôle, en des phases différentes de l'existence. (CAF)


2.4 German nominal and verbal restrictors


This brings us to German nominal and verbal restrictors, which will also be considered in sequence.


2.4.1 German nominal restrictors


In German the situation is much the same as in French. Only a small number of nouns, such as Unterschied, Einschränkung, Problem and Besonderheit, can occur in copular clauses. An example:


Im Hinblick auf Adverbiale und Adverbialsätze lässt sich folgende Proportion aufstellen: (14) NP als Objekt    Satz (V) als Objekt  = NP als Adverbiale : Satz (V) als Adverbiale. Der Unterschied ist, dass der Objektsatz direkt von einem Knoten abhängt, die Analyse des Adverbialsatzes hingegen indirekt durch zwei Knoten erfolgt. (CAG)


However, such nominal constructions are comparatively rare in German. Of higher frequency are markers in which the noun occurs in a prepositional phrase with the frame mit + definite article + noun + dass-clause. Within this frame the noun Unterschied can also be adjectivally modified to give mit dem feinen Unterschied, dass and similar patterns. Like the French variants of à ceci près que, mit dem Unterschied, dass and its variants may occupy initial position in a new sentence, as the last two of the following examples show. Note also the instance of ellipsis in the last example, as well as the use of such concessive connectors as allerdings, jedoch, nur or freilich:


Er wachte auf mit diesem komischen Geräusch im Ohr, es klang, als wenn man aus einem aufgepumpten Fahrradschlauch das Ventil herausdreht und plötzlich alle Luft abläßt. Nur mit dem Unterschied, dass der Luftvorrat scheinbar unbegrenzt war: Das Geräusch hörte einfach nicht mehr auf. (NG)  


Unter der Telephonnummer 061 22 -923 832 wählt man die Voicebox an. Sie ist eigentlich nichts anderes als ein Anrufbeantworter, mit dem kleinen Unterschied, dass man hier durch Zahleneingabe auf dem Display seines Telephons zu Hause in verschiedene Menüs des Systems gelangt. (NG)


Auf die Frage, wer das bezahlen soll, hatte Forte schon kurz nach Weihnachten eine Antwort gegeben, als er den Verkauf seiner Raststätten-Restaurantketten 'Little Chef' und 'Happy Eater' im Werte von 960 Millionen Pfund an die Brauerei Whitbread ankündigte. Dies freilich mit dem Vorbehalt, dass sein Unternehmen vorher nicht von Granada geschluckt wird. (NG)


2.4.2 German verbal restrictors


The comparative scarcity of nominal constructions with a copular verb in academic German is more than made up for by a variety of verb-based restrictors, which can serve as viable equivalents of English and French nominal constructions. These are usually based on a verbum dicendi coupled with a restrictive adverb (einschränkend + sagen, anmerken, feststellen) or on an isolated verbum dicendi or verbum cogitandi (anmerken, bedenken). Grammatically, they are predicated on any of a range of structures available in German for the expression of necessity; a link with the preceding context is often established by means of a pronominal adverb. Like their nominal counterparts, these restrictors also co-occur with adversative adverbs such as jedoch or allerdings. An example:


Auch in den Beiträgen dieser Festschrift spiegelt sich ein Betroffensein von der Erfahrung wider: "Was ist der Mensch, dass du an ihn denkst, das Menschenkind, dass du dich seiner annimmst?" (Ps 8,5)  Dies Betroffensein motiviert immer wieder neu die am Institut Tätigen aus christlichem Glauben heraus zum Dienst an Lehrerinnen und Lehrern und somit auch an Schülerinnen und Schülern im Lande Nordrhein-Westfalen. Sie wissen, dass für ein gelingendes Einbringen christ licher Vorstellungen in die Lehrerfort- und -weiterbildung das Bewußt sein entscheidend ist, "dass ein christlicher Sinnhorizont ihrem Auftrag in der Schule keine ideologische Zwangsjacke anlegt, sondern für sie eine Orientierung bedeutet" (E. Feifel). Jeder einzelne Beitrag will etwas von der "Menschenfreundlichkeit Gottes" (Tit 3,4) widerspiegeln, indem er aufzeigt, wie pädagogisches Handeln eben diese Menschenfreundlichkeit konkret werden läßt. Dabei ist zu bedenken, was das II. Vatikanische Konzil über die "Autonomie der irdischen Wirklichkeiten" aussagt: "Durch ihr Geschaffensein selbst nämlich haben alle Einzelwirklichkeiten ihren festen Eigenstand, ihre eigene Wahrheit, ihre eigene Gutheit sowie ihre Eigengesetzlichkeit und ihre eigenen Ordnungen, die der Mensch unter Anerkennung der den einzelnen Wissenschaften und Techniken eigenen Methode achten muß" (Gaudium et spes, Nr. 36). (CAG)


Dem steht entgegen, dass explicitly names an adverse circumstance or obstacle. Rather than initiating a restrictive sequence, it is often placed in the middle of such a sequence; in the first of the following examples, the beginning of the sequence is signalled by the first-level marker indessen:


In Genf hat sich nun eine Konferenz der Vereinten Nationen drei Tage lang mit der Frage beschäftigt, wie mehr Geld für die Minenräumung und die Versorgung der Minenopfer beschafft werden könnte. Es wird indessen noch lange dauern, bis eine der grausamsten Waffen unserer Zeit geächtet, ihre Produktion verboten werden kann. Dem steht entgegen, dass sie so 'einfach' zu handhaben und, wie die USA in Genf erklärten, 'militärisch notwendig' ist. (NG)


'Schon Engholm spürte den heißen Atem des Niedersachsen im Nacken.' Wie sollte da eine Hillu ihn nicht gespürt haben? Sie ist Schütze, er Widder, und die Bild am Sonntag schloß aus dieser Konstellation auf heftige Explosionen. Tatsächlich mußte der niedersächsische Ministerpräsident, dessen Frau Vegetarierin ist, einmal an eine geschenkte Weihnachtsgans vier Tage lang hinessen. Da mag der Atem noch heißer werden, als er ohnedies schon ist. Angebracht wäre jetzt ein kurzes, gutes Wort über die Gefährdetheit der Politiker im allgemeinen und ihrer Ehen im besonderen. Dem steht entgegen, dass die Zahl jener Politiker, die in ihren Ehen schön geborgen sind, die der Gescheiterten überwiegt. Man wird im Fall der Schröders viel munkeln, ob nicht der Wiener Opernball, ansonsten ein anerkannter Glücksstifter, sie letztlich auseinanderbrachte; auch hat Frau Hillu einmal, ungeachtet der Nähe ihres Mannes zu VW, für Nissan geworben. (NG)


The emphasizer zu beachten ist, dass may also function as a restrictor. It draws the reader's attention to an important contrast or reminds her of the limitations inherent in the preceding discourse.


Wenn ich Autor Reymer Klüver richtig verstanden habe, ist für den SPD-Sozialexperten Rudolf Dreßler der 9. November 1989 ein historisches Datum nicht nur wegen der Grenzöffnung zwischen BRD und DDR, sondern auch wegen der an diesem Tag vom Bundestag verabschiedeten Rentenreform. Sie ist mehr als zwei Jahre spõter in Kraft getreten und wird deshalb 'Rentenreform '92' genannt. Unter dem Vorbehalt korrekter Wiedergabe ist für Dreßler also am 9. November 1989 im doppelten Sinne 'das Ende des Kommunismus' eingetreten. Was seinen eigenen Beitrag dazu angeht, wird man im Blick auf das Rentenreformgesetz (kurz RRG 92) eher vom Anfang des Endes des 'sozialen Rechtsstaats' BRD sprechen müssen. Dabei gilt es zu beachten, dass diese Zäsur in großer Koalition von SPD und CDU/CSU gemeinsam beschlossen wurde. (NG)


Annahmezeiten sind am Montag, 9. Januar 1995, bis Mittwoch, 11. Januar 1995, von 8 bis 17 Uhr. - Weitere Informationen gibt es beim Abfalltelephon 23 33 12 33. Zu beachten ist, dass nur Bäume ohne Lametta und Weihnachtskugeln angenommen werden. (NG)


Other German restrictors are of the sentence-fragment type. Due to the great syntactic flexibility of German, they lend themselves to quite variable wordings, such as


Bezüglich der (NP) müssen allerdings Bedenken angemeldet werden.

Ernsthafte Bedenken melden sich gegen (NP)

Da drängt sich das Bedenken auf, ob (+ subordinate clause)

Der (NP) werden erhebliche Bedenken entgegengebracht.


There are also a few complete-sentence markers, such as:


Vorbehalte sind jedoch angebracht.

Bei genauerem Hinsehen stellen sich Bedenken ein.


2.5 Nominal and verbal restrictors in translation


Owing to the collocational and syntactic subtleties associated with nominal restrictors of the type discussed above, a number of translation problems may arise.

A first difficulty is that there are wide interlingual differences in the range and distribution of nouns occurring in the two major frames discussed above. Most of these differences are obvious from the list at the beginning of this section. Thus, for example, English and German have no direct equivalent for French avec cette parenthèse que. In such cases one of the other noun structures usually fills the bill; avec la parenthèse que can usually be rendered by with the exception that und mit der Ausnahme, dass without any serious loss of semantic information. Similarly, there are no direct French equivalents for copular clauses controlled by nouns such as objection or caveat. In this case it is possible to resort to à ceci près que or one of its variants occurring in the prototypical environment avec + demonstrative pronoun + noun + que. If the translation is to achieve a closely similar rhythmic effect and the same distribution of information, à ceci près que can be placed at the beginning of a new sentence. Conversely, English copular clauses can be used to translate à ceci près que and its nominal variants in sentence-initial position. Especially in academic English, sentence-fragment markers such as it must be borne in mind that or this needs to be qualified somewhat, or complete-sentence markers such there is a caveat here or yes, with a caution could perform the same function.

A second problem is that the possibility of adjectival modification is severely restricted in French; however, a moment's thought allows us to see that adjectivally modified noun phrases in English and German are often matched by a bare noun phrase in French:


with one small difference <-> à la nuance près que <-> mit dem feinen / kleinen Unterschied, dass


Note that, oddly enough, English cannot adequately express the same shade of meaning using the with-frame; lexical bundles such as with the small difference that or one small difference is that cannot be located in the corpora. The complete-sentence marker with one small difference is used instead.

Most importantly perhaps, there is a regular trade-off between English and French nominal restrictors and German verbal restrictors. Natural correspondences would include


The caveat here is that (+ subordinate clause)

A caution must also be noted, though. (+ new main clause)


with the caveat that

une réserve, cependant

quelques ombres au tableau, néanmoins

il existe cependant une réserve


avec cette réserve que

(Hierbei/dabei/dazu) ist einschränkend zu sagen, dass

zu bedenken ist, dass



An alternative verbal formulation is possible in English, along the lines of


However, it is important to remember that + subordinate clause

This said, it must be borne in mind that + subordinate clause


When the German marker implies no idea of a caveat, a translation by one of the frames filled by the noun caveat is barred. Such would be the case with the following German example, where the best translation is note (however) that, it should be noted (however) that or it should be borne in mind that.


Den Inhalt dieser damit Gesetz gewordenen "Rechtsüberzeugung" umschrieb Oppenheimer lediglich vage: sie sei "antiindividualistisch", das subjektive Recht daher nicht "reine Befugnis" und somit Ausdruck der         "absterbenden Auffassung" des "statischen" römischen Rechts. Vielmehr lebe in ihm der altgermanische Gedanke, dass jedes Recht eine  Schranke in sich trage … die sich nach Zweck, Bedürfnis und Interesse des sozialen Verbandslebens richte". Damit sei die neue Rechtsanschauung "sozialistisch-dynamisch". Über den heutigen Leser der Arbeit ergießen sich hier viele zentrale Chiffren der damaligen Diskussion, eine Vielzahl von "Vordenkern" ließe sich hier anführen, für das 19. Jahrhundert etwa Savigny, Puchta, Beseler, Jhering oder Gierke. Doch ist dabei zu bedenken, dass die Nutzung dieser "Vordenker" überaus synkretistisch erfolgt. Oppenheimers Verwendungen von Philosophie und Soziologie, seine Anlehnungen an die Naturwissenschaft, am wenigsten wohl seine Ausflüge in die Rechtsvergleichung, sind zumeist verkürzt und fast schlagwortartig. (CAG)


In cases where the German pronominal adverb (e.g. hierzu) is expanded into a prepositional object (e.g. zu diesen Behauptungen), this can usually be rendered by caveat + to:


there are caveats to these conclusions, however

il est permis de faire quelques réserves sur ces conclusions

zu diesen Schlußfolgerungen ist einschränkend zu sagen


German restrictors of this type can do alternative service as equivalents of the English and French restrictors occurring in prepositional frames. This is because they can be easily integrated into the sentence:


Das heißt: Man kann - ganz comenianisch - beim Urbild des Tischlermeisters bleiben, muß aber bedenken, dass die Ableitung "Kunst kommt von Können" doch unvollständig bzw. irreführend ist.


ein alter Grundsatz zu zitieren, von dem nur einschränkend zu sagen wäre, dass 


Dem steht entgegen, dass may be rendered by copular-clause fragments built around the nouns problem, handicap, stumbling-block, impediment and obstacle in English, and problème, entrave and obstacle in French.

Emphasizers functioning as restrictors are fairly easy to translate using members of the same set in the target language. Some illustrations follow:


note that

à noter que

on se souviendra que

zu beachten ist, dass

it should not be forgotten that

il ne faut pas oublier que

man sollte nicht vergessen, dass


As noted above, the French restrictor à ceci près que and its nominal variants are often placed sentence-initially. In such cases they often help the writer to add an afterthought. Since in German such afterthoughts are often appended by means of the relative adverb wobei, a combination of wobei with an adversative connector such as allerdings may be used as an alternative rendering of à ceci près que. An example:


English translation

French original

German translation

The 'Russian swindle', to borrow the term Eugène Letailleur, writing under the pseudonym of 'Lysis', used in 1910, is as topical as ever. Except that the swindle in question was not so much Russian as international. (my translation)

L'"escroquerie russe", pour reprendre l'expression utilisée en 1910 par Lysis, pseudonyme d'Eugène Letailleur, est une histoire qui n'a pas pris de rides. A ceci près que ladite escroquerie n'était pas tant russe qu'internationale. (NF)

Die "russischen Betrügereien", um einen Ausdruck aus einer 1910 von Eugène Letailleur unter dem Pseudonym "Lysis" verfassten Schrift aufzugreifen, haben nichts von ihrer Aktualität eingebüßt (wobei allerdings diese Betrügereien weniger russischen als internationalen Ursprungs waren). (my translation)


3. Restrictors introducing an additional adverse point or a minor objection


This set of restrictors may be seen as an extension of the previous one, with the one important difference that its members are overtly augmentative. Their primary function is to signal an additional adverse point. As already noted, the set was first touched upon by Gallagher (Gallagher 1992) in a ground-breaking study of the translation problems posed by the German restrictor erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass. In the light of the present research, Gallagher's study may be improved upon in two ways: firstly, we can add a fairly large number of items to Gallagher's list; in the table below the newly identified items appear in bold type. Secondly, we can suggest new and somewhat simpler equivalences between the languages under investigation. Since Gallagher has provided a full description of the syntactic, semantic and pragmatic features of the main types of these restrictors, we shall deal mainly with the newly discovered items.


a / (yet) a further / another / a second / one more criticism / problem / difficulty / disadvantage / constraint / complication / complicating factor / troublesome point / worry / caution ... is that

the second difficulty is that

An added complication / disadvantage / ... is that

with the added twist / handicap / disadvantage / complication / caveat that

There is also the further complication that

A further (another) complicating factor is that ...

to complicate matters further

to complicate matters still further

to further complicate matters

to further complicate things

to make matters worse

to make things worse

to compound the problem

to confound matters further

to further confound the picture

to complicate the picture further

it is also well to keep in mind that

the situation is further complicated by the fact that / because

the problem is further compounded by the fact that

this premise is further flawed because


what is worse

more seriously

worse (even worse, worse still)



(mais) il y a plus grave

plus grave

problème plus grave, ...

fait plus grave, ...


pire encore

(mais) il y a pire

le pire, c'est que


qui pis est

il y a pis

pis encore

circonstance aggravante,

complication supplémentaire, ...


plus gravement encore


autre critique / différence / difficulté / exception / ...


il faut ajouter à cela un autre problème (etc.)


pour compliquer le tout

pour compliquer encore les choses

pour ne rien arranger

ce qui complique la situation

voilà qui vient compliquer le difficile problème


le problème est compliqué par le fait que ...

la question (le problème, l'explication, la situation, les choses) se complique(nt) du fait que / dans la mesure où / lorsque

les difficultés sont aggravés / accrues du fait que

mais d'autres facteurs viennent compliquer encore (NP)

les choses se compliquent encore du fait que

un autre problème concerne ...

ce qui nous pose un autre problème: (NP)

il y a un autre inconvénient à ce que ...

ein weiteres Problem ist, dass

ein zweiter Vorbehalt, der genannt werden muß, ...

ähnliche Vorbehalte sind bei NP angebracht

eine weitere Schwierigkeit ist, dass (etc.)


erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass

zu bedenken ist auch, dass

weiter ist zu berücksichtigen, dass


erschwerend wirkt sich aus, dass

Noch schwerer wiegt, dass

dem steht auch entgegen, dass

mehr noch:

was schlimmer ist,

Schlimmer noch: ...

Problematisch ist in diesem Zusammenhang auch, dass


Fig. 2: Restrictors introducing an additional adverse point or a minor restriction


3.1 English


As with the set discussed in the previous section, there is a range of English sentence-fragment restrictors based on nouns controlling a copular clause: a further criticism / difficulty / constraint is that ... All but one of these items have been overlooked by Gallagher (1992). Here too a number of co-occurrence restrictions obtain. Thus, added collocates with problem, difficulty, disadvantage and complication, but not with criticism; problem, difficulty and disadvantage may also co-occur with such adjectives as serious:


An even more serious problem is that there is no agreed-upon conceptual framework (CAE)


Other oversights on Gallagher's part include a number of syntactic and semantic variants of infinitive clauses such as to complicate matters further, sentence fragments such as the problem is further compounded by, and, more importantly, the sentence adverbs worse and more seriously. Worse may be modified by even or still:


As data collection and communication techniques grow, however, it is at least possible, and perhaps likely, that the large centralized database will become as much of a dinosaur as the mainframe, to be replaced by networks of small, interlinked databases continually updated in real time. Data protection regulation would be particularly difficult in such a world. Worse, the international nature of data flows limits the ability of any single nation to enforce its data protection laws. (CAE)


Policymakers, like scientists, always need to evaluate their conclusions against new information. In spite of the compelling needs for improved climate monitoring, not much is now being done nationally or internationally about the current monitoring deficiencies. Even worse, many critical capabilities are deteriorating in the United States and elsewhere  because of budgetary pressures. (CAE)


All are serving life sentences to the white man's will, and the fire of their old ambition has cooled into the dull embers of resignation and then died into the apathy of  contentment with things that are. Worse still, they have grown fond of their prison world, and the most pessimistic feature in the Fijian situation of today is the evident fact that there is almost no discontent among the natives. Old things have withered and decayed, but new ambition has not been born. (NE)    


Worse has another variant in what is worse:


one should beware of the inherent weaknesses of the beautiful human mind. The most prominent shortcoming is not weak logic, but prejudice, preferring simple solutions. Uncritical application of Ockham's Razor plays to that weakness. What is worse, it dresses up that weakness in the pretense of logical erudition. (CAE)


More seriously is usually found in clause-initial position; apart from this restrictive mode, it has an equally common mode in which it signals a change of tone from the flippant to the serious, after the manner of 'joking aside'. Unlike worse or worse still, it may be accompanied by a specification of range, usually a prepositional phrase introduced by for which, in functional grammar terms, indicates the 'patient' suffering from the adverse conditions described in the subsequent discourse:


The threat that continental Europe does face is not of recession, but of  long-term stagnation, with economic growth averaging about 2 per cent. Such a low growth rate would crush hopes of creating new jobs in such  unemployment blackspots as France, Belgium and Denmark. More seriously for Europe's policymaking elites, who now seem completely inured to mass unemployment, a long period of Eurosclerosis would make it extremely difficult for countries such as France and Belgium to improve their public finances. (NE)


It should be noted in passing that the same kind of function can be served by restrictors of the copular clause type, where the specification takes the form of a relative or participial clause based on a verb such as affect or face. The nouns difficulty and problem can also co-occur with the prepositions for (with both animate and inanimate nouns) or with (in the case of inanimate nouns).


An additional problem with on-line chat is that it is evanescent. (CAE)

Another problem firms face is that ... (NE)

Another complication affecting the social investigator is that (...) (EB)


3.2 French


Here items newly discovered in my corpora include the relative clause ce qui complique la situation, clause-initial noun phrases introduced by autre, the infinitive clauses pour compliquer le tout and pour compliquer encore les choses as well as a number of sentence fragments centred around the verb se compliquer and its synonyms.

The peculiarity of a second-level marker based on a relative clause such as ce qui complique la situation / le problème is that it can have both anaphoric and cataphoric reference. In its cataphoric mode, it has a variant in voilà qui vient compliquer le problème de + NP. Second-level markers of this type collocate strongly with the adverbs singulièrement and sensiblement.


Les horloges biologiques du voyageur vont donc exiger un certain temps pour s'ajuster de l'heure de Paris à l'heure de New York. La durée de l'ajustement (ou sa vitesse) peut se mesurer en prenant pour référence l'acrophase d'une variable. On peut ainsi savoir combien de jours doivent s'écouler pour que, dans l'échelle des vingt-quatre heures, une acrophase retrouve, à New York, la position (l'heure) qu'elle avait à Paris. L'ajustement du rythme considéré est alors complet. Mais ce qui complique le problème est que tous les rythmes ne s'ajustent pas simultanément. Il en résulte une désynchronisation interne transitoire (les changements de phase et de période peuvent différer d'un oscillateur à l'autre). (EU)


Mais on a découvert depuis le phénomène fort étonnant des migrations des mâles : les mâles ne restent pas dans leur troupe d'origine ; probablement, a-t-on dit, parce que les dominants les empêchent de copuler. Le fait est qu'ils changent régulièrement de troupe et s'agrègent, non sans difficulté souvent, à une horde étrangère (où la copulation ne leur est pas beaucoup plus facile cependant, ce qui complique sensiblement l'interprétation du phénomène migratoire). Et ils sont pendant longtemps maintenus à l'écart. (CAF)           


It is also worth noting that the second-level marker under discussion is often interpolated within a main clause:


L'enjeu du dossier est de taille. Il s'agit d'un des plus gros dossiers de faillite et, ce qui complique encore les choses, d'une faillite bancaire, face à laquelle les procédures définies par la loi sont mal adaptées.         (NF)


Noun phrases based on autre are usually followed by a colon or a comma; they are a highly productive pattern admitting a large number of nouns with a negative meaning; among the most common are désagrément, différence, difficulté, handicap, inquiétude and problème, but the possibility of adjectival modification in particular makes this a prolific pattern, and one that allows writers to express subtle shades of meaning. Thus, we find, among other instances, (autre +) conséquence néfaste, effet pervers, facteur aggravant, phénomène préoccupant, point noir, point d'achoppement, faiblesse structurelle, etc. Note also that in well-crafted prose the subsequent discourse tends to exhibit syntactic parallelism with the phrase introduced by autre (e.g. noun + de + noun: noun + de + noun):


Le P.C.I. perd ainsi 4,5  points dans le triangle industriel du Nord-Ouest (- 5,5 dans la province de Turin en 1987) et 4,4 points dans l'ensemble des onze plus grandes villes italiennes. Son recul particulièrement fort dans les quartiers populaires s'explique moins par la défection de son électorat traditionnel que par la transformation de ce dernier. Ce sont en effet les catégories nouvelles issues de la classe ouvrière, petits cadres, employés, techniciens, qui abandonnent le P.C.I. Autre sujet d'inquiétude : la désaffection de la jeunesse. Alors qu'en 1976 37,5 p. 100 des électeurs âgés de dix-huit à vingt-cinq ans déclaraient accorder leurs suffrages au P.C.I., ils ne sont plus que 17,7 p.  100 en 1987. (NF)


Lastly, with second-level markers based on the verb se compliquer, the source of the difficulty may be specified by a noun in subject position:


l’enseignement d’une langue vivante se complique davantage du fait que cette langue n’est pas maternelle (CAF)


3.3 German


Here Gallagher has overlooked the fact that a specification of range can be added to erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass, usually a prepositional phrase introduced by für. The following example also shows that the restrictor has a non-gradational mode (cf. Gallagher 1992: 103):


Im Rückblick der letzten 50 Jahre läßt sich eine intensive wissenschaftliche Beschäftigung mit der Sprache des Rechts und der Verwaltung feststellen - je nach wissenschaftlichem Erkenntnisfortschritt auf unterschiedlichen Gebieten, die alle zum Gesamtbild Verwaltungsfachsprache beigetragen haben. Untersuchungsfelder waren die    phonetischen, phonologischen, morphologischen, lexikalischen/semantischen, syntaktischen und textual-pragmatischen Besonderheiten. Dabei gilt: Je praxisnäher, verständlicher und verwertbarer die Ergebnisse    wissenschaftlicher Forschung sind, desto größer ist die Bereitschaft, sie in außerwissenschaftlichen Zusammenhängen zu akzeptieren und anzuwenden. In der Verwaltung kommt für den Rezeptionsprozeß    sprachwissenschaftlicher Forschungsergebnisse erschwerend hinzu, dass lange Zeit nicht erkannt wurde und auch heute häufig noch nicht erkannt wird, Sprache als Handwerkszeug eines jeden Mitarbeiters und einer jeden Mitarbeiterin anzuerkennen und entsprechend zu schulen. (no gradation at all, not necessarily 'zusätzliche Schwierigkeit') (CAG)


Newly uncovered items in German include noch schwerer wiegt, dass (variant: schwerer noch wiegt, dass), schlimmer noch, and sentence-fragment markers admitting an adjective in clause-initial position such as problematisch ist auch, dass.


Trotz aller zur Schau getragenen Selbstzufriedenheit weiß die CDU, dass sie bei der Berliner Wahl keinen Sieg errungen hat. Was nutzt es, stärkste Partei zu sein, wenn man drei Prozentpunkte verloren hat und sich nicht einen Koalitionspartner wählen kann. Schwerer noch wiegt, dass die neuen Berliner Verhältnisse düstere Ahnungen für Bonn zulassen. Deshalb hat seit vergangener Woche die Union abermals die Angst um den Bonner Koalitionspartner gepackt. Das Siechenergebnis der Berliner FDP war zwar prognostiziert worden. Die tatsächliche Quittung der Wähler aber läßt die Nervosität steigen und löst wieder das alte Fragenkarussell aus: Wie rettet man die FDP? (NG)         


In einer neuen Untersuchung stellt die Landeszentralbank fest: 'Entgegen der Hoffnung, Frankfurt könne den Abstand zu London als internationales Zentrum für den Finanzhandel spürbar verringern, hat sich der einmal errungene Vorsprung Londons weiter verfestigt.' Als Gründe werden natürliche Vorteile wie Sprache und Zeitzone, aber auch der Wunsch nach einem einzigen Handelszentrum in Europa für international gängige Produkte angeführt. Schlimmer noch, London konnte seine Position bei ureigenen deutschen Produkten sogar ausbauen. Zwei Drittel des Handels mit Bundesanleihen finden an der Themse statt, ganz zu schweigen von den D-Mark-Zinsderivaten (Bund-Future). Ähnlich sieht die Entwicklung im Devisenhandel aus. (NG)


In factual accounts the restrictor erschwerend wirkt sich aus, dass is sometimes used as a synonym of erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass. The difference is that the former is always overtly augmentative, whereas the latter can also introduce the first in a series of restrictions.


Der Ministerpräsidentin Benazir Bhutto sind Außen- und Verteidigungspolitik erst einmal vorenthalten worden. Sie ist wenig mehr als eine geduldete Galionsfigur. Erschwerend wirkt sich aus, dass der im August letzten Jahres als Botschafter nach Islamabad entsandte Stardiplomat Oakley den Washingtoner Afghanistanplänen einen Strich durch die Rechnung machte. (NG)


Predictably, other restrictors of this kind can be formed simply by incorporating an adverbial signalling addition (auch, außerdem, überdies, darüber hinaus) into a restrictor from the previous group (e.g. überdies ist zu bedenken, dass)


3.4 English restrictors vs. German restrictors


The first thing to be said here is that there appears to be a one-to-many relationship between the German restrictor erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass and its English equivalents. As can be seen from the above table, the latter far outnumber possible variants of the German restrictor.

A second point to note is that the translation problems posed by the German restrictor erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass have probably been somewhat overestimated. They can normally be solved by resorting to a general translation strategy or principle, whereby the clause-internal informational units need to be redistributed in German-English and German-French translation. Admittedly, it is sometimes possible for English sentence stems of this type to be (re-)translated literally into German:


a further difficulty is that <-> eine weitere Schwierigkeit ist, dass (alongside erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass)


However, in cases where the subject is more heavily pre- or postmodified, German tends to prefer a ‘cleftless’ structure, as Doherty (1991: 32-33) has shown using the following example:


The major problem limiting the application of all these new techniques is that ...

<-> Der Einsatz dieser neuen Technik wird vor allem dadurch eingeschränkt, dass ...


Here the clause-internal informational order has been turned round. Whereas in English the dummy subject problem shifts the focus of the English matrix clause onto the prenominal modifier major, the focus in the German version is on the pronominal link dadurch. This divergence can be explained by the German preference for a verb-adjacent end-focus, and for adverbials over subjects (cf. Doherty 1991). A more literal translation would yield a grammatically correct but ‘informationally’ disequilibrated sentence:


(?) Das Hauptproblem, das den Einsatz dieser neuen Techniken einschränkt, ist, dass ...


The same structural shift can be seen in operation with the second-level markers under discussion:


a further difficulty is that <-> erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass


Within the German restrictor the focus falls on the pronominal link hinzu, whereas in English nominal constructions of the type a further difficulty is that it is the prenominal modifier further (or another) which carries the greatest amount of communicative prominence. This translational shift can also be applied to other types of second-level markers:


a first point is that / the first thing to be said is that / the first point to be made is that / the first point to note is that <-> dazu ist zunächst festzustellen, dass

a final point (which should be made here) is that <-> schließlich bleibt zu sagen, dass


Here the modifiers first and final have been transmuted into the adverbs zunächst and schließlich, and the nouns point and thing have been transposed to the verba dicendi feststellen and sagen (other possible choices being bemerken and festhalten), with corresponding shifts in focus. Further examples:


a second reason/argument is that <-> zweitens gilt, dass

a further argument against (...) is that <-> gegen (...)/dagegen spricht ferner, dass

one explanation is that <-> dies erklärt sich zum einen dadurch, dass


It should be noted in passing that this translation shift can also be profitably used in French-German translation, although it is less frequent:


le résultat (en) est que <-> daraus ergibt sich, dass

la preuve en est que <-> das zeigt sich darin, dass

la conclusion en est que <-> daraus folgt, dass


The optional verb-noun and adverb-adjective shifts demonstrated here become obligatory when the noun is deleted from the dummy subject, as in


At present, two considerations recommend the continued use of the standard measures (...). One is that (...) Another is that (...) (CAE, my emphases)

<-> Aufgrund zweier Überlegungen empfiehlt es sich zur Zeit, die Standardmaße weiter zu verwenden. Erstens (...) Zweitens (...)


where *eine ist, dass (...) Eine weitere ist, dass would be downright ungrammatical. In such cases the shift under discussion is reduced to its bare essentials, with the pronominal prop-words (one and another in the present case) being transposed to adverbs (erstens and zweitens).

Further evidence for our analysis comes from Gallagher’s (1986, 1989a, 1989b) discussion of nominal constructions. Gallagher found that the English abstract nouns used in such constructions are frequently rendered as verbs or verb phrases in French and German. This links up with the verb-noun or adverb-adjective shifts just observed in the translation of second-level markers.

Once this translation principle has been grasped, it is relatively easy to translate each of Gallagher's (1992) German examples by means of a nominal construction. In cases where the writer signals that she is about to raise a point of criticism ('Erteilung eines Tadels'), as in Gallagher's first example, the translator can resort to a nominal construction governed by the noun criticism; in cases where the writer wishes to describe a second difficulty, the noun difficulty can be used, and so on. In order to illustrate, let us revisit Gallagher's first German example:


In engem Zusammenhang mit der inneren Widersprüchlichkeit des zugrundegelegten operationalisierten Sprachbegriffs steht die unklare Rolle, die der Übersetzungsvergleich in der Untersuchung spielt. (...) In der vorliegenden Arbeit zielt er an einigen Stellen zwar klar auf die Analyse der Übersetzungspraxis (...), aber meist ist es unklar, welcher Fragestellung er zugeordnet ist, und entsprechend bleibt es ungeklärt, ob seine Ergebnisse Aussagen über die verglichenen Sprachen erlauben bzw. Romanstile oder aber über eine bestimmte Übersetzungspraxis sein sollen.

Es kommt erschwerend hinzu, dass Bischoff in seinen Erklärungen und Zusammenfassungen unklare Begriffe (z.T. aus der Tradition des frühen Strukturalismus und der stylistique comparée) benutzt, die seine Aussagen für den heutigen Leser zumindest schwer zugänglich machen. (Schwarze 1976: 175, cited in Gallagher 1992: 100)


According to whether the translator leans towards an interpretation of the second sequence as expressing either another difficulty or another criticism, she may opt for a further difficulty / problem is that or a further criticism is that. Since the text type from which this extract is taken is a review, where the expression of criticism plays a constitutive role, the second option seems more likely. Generally speaking, this means that English resorts to a range of lexically diverse nominal markers where German uses just one fixed expression. Such nominal renditions of the German restrictor have the added advantage of being easy to integrate syntactically.

Turning now to other renditions of erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass, we note that the sentence adverb more seriously allows the same degree of syntactic flexibility as the nominal constructions just discussed. As Gallagher points out (1992: 101), infinitive clauses cannot be used as equivalents of the German restrictor if the English target sequence is to start with a subordinate clause. A sentence like the following is grammatically, but not stylistically acceptable; however, if we substitute the adverb more seriously or the copular clause a further complicating factor is that for the infinitive clause to compound the problem, it will feel less choppy:


(?) To compound the problem, although the parishes may have the money, in civil, as opposed to canon law, they have no legal identity. (Gallagher 1992: 101) -> A further complicating factor is that, although the parishes may have the money, they have no legal identity in civil, as opposed to canon law.


A similar problem arises when the German restrictor carries with it a specification of range introduced by the preposition für. In such cases a syntactically identical translation using one of Gallagher's equivalents seems out of the question. However, both these translation problems can be solved by employing the restrictor more seriously, which, as noted above, can take for-specification and may be followed by a subordinate clause. Again, the second problem can be elegantly circumvented by using a noun from an English copular clause such as complication and adding a relative clause or a participial construction (for examples, see above).


3.5 French restrictors vs. English and German restrictors


Of special interest here is the translation of the noun-phrase restrictors based on autre. Since English and German cannot imitate the heavily nominal style characteristic of French in such cases, the stretch of discourse following the English and German second-level markers needs to be constructed verbally. This is somewhat surprising in view of the fact that English restrictors introducing an adverse point may well consist of a single noun phrase (e.g. first, a note of caution; one caveat on this chapter:). Here is an example of a possible translation equivalence:


English translation

French original

German translation

Upwardly mobile social groups such as junior managers, clerks and engineers, who have risen from the working classes to the middle classes, are abandoning the Communist Party. A further worry is that the party is falling out of favour with young voters. (my translation)

Ce sont en effet les catégories nouvelles issues de la classe ouvrière, petits cadres, employés, techniciens, qui abandonnent le P.C.I. Autre sujet d'inquiétude  : la désaffection de la jeunesse. (NF)

Die neu entstandenen sozialen Kategorien, die aus der Arbeiterklasse hervorgegangen sind (untere Führungsebene, Angestellte, Techniker), geben ihre Stimmen jetzt anderen Parteien. Erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass die Jugend nur noch wenig für die KPI übrig hat. (my translation)


Similar translation problems are posed by restrictors realized as pre-posed appositions, such as complication supplémentaire or fait plus grave:


Le problème est que la politique économique prévue dans le traité de Rome se résume pour l’essentiel à ce qu’on appelle la politique de concurrence, approche exclusivement négative et libérale, qui s’explique par un contexte, celui des années cinquante, où tout était réglementé. Fait plus grave, les bureaux de la commission, qui ne connaissent que le traité et les pouvoirs considérables qu’ils en ont tiré, appliquent, avec un zèle digne d’une meilleure cause, une doctrine partout abandonnée dans le monde et sanctionnent des péchés qui n’en sont plus qu’à leurs yeux. (NF)


As in the case of nouns filling with-frames, the sentence following such constructions may be considered the lexical realisation of the apposition's head-noun. Whether or not a pre-posed apposition can serve as an equivalent of German erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass thus depends on the lexical meaning of the head-noun: Gallagher is right in saying that circonstance aggravante can only introduce an additional adverse point, while not being able to express criticism on the part of the writer. Yet, as the restrictors catalogued above show, that latter function may well be assumed by other appositions, such as problème plus grave or complication supplémentaire.


4. Conclusion


This article has identified a large number of restrictors and studied, with a view to translation, the systematic patterns of function and meaning associated with them. The lexicographic harvest has been particularly rich: a host of moderately or highly common multi-word expressions can be found in the preceding pages, most of which have so far gone unrecorded in reference books and textbooks of translation. More importantly, however, close comparison of these monolingual lists has opened our eyes to previously unthought-of equivalences between English, French and German.

A word in conclusion about the pedagogic potential of multi-word markers (see also Siepmann 1997). It appears from the findings just presented that second-level markers, being neither totally fixed nor totally variable, occupy a fairly central position on the phraseological cline and can thus be used by teachers of translation to illustrate a number of general strategies or principles. It has been shown, for example, that underlying such correspondences as erschwerend kommt hinzu, dass <-> a further difficulty is that is the more general translation principle whereby, given certain conditions (cf. Doherty 1991), German adverbs are turned into English nouns and German verbs into English prenominal modifiers.


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