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  • 1 University of Hamburg Research Center on Multilingualism Max-Brauer-Allee 60 22765 Hamburg Germany
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One of the best-known hypotheses of translation studies, the Explicitation Hypothesis, postulates that explicitation is “inherent” in the process of translation and may therefore be regarded as a “universal of translation”. In recent years, a number of corpus-based studies on explicitation have been produced, most of which purport to offer evidence in favor of this hypothesis. As a consequence, the alleged universality of explicitation has achieved the status of dogma in translation studies. The aim of the present article is to show that the dogma of translation-inherent explicitation rests on fallacious theoretical considerations and premature interpretations of empirical data. In the first place, it will be argued that the Explicitation Hypothesis strictly speaking does not even qualify as a scientific hypothesis, since it is unmotivated, unparsimonious and vaguely formulated. In the second place, it will be shown that previous studies on explicitation fail to provide conclusive evidence for the translation-inherent nature of explicitation due to a number of methodological shortcomings.

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