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Jarmo Harri Jantunen Savonlinna School of Translation Studies, University of Joensuu, PL 48, 57101 Savonlinna, Finland

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Simplification is one of the hypothesised universals of translation. It has been investigated, firstly, through the comparison of source and target texts, and secondly, by comparing translated and non-translated texts. In this paper, the focus is on the latter type of comparison. One aspect of simplification concerns the range of lexical items used in translations as opposed to non-translations. Corpus-based investigations conducted to this day suggest that the variety of lexicon is not narrower in translated texts than in non-translated texts. One reason for this might be found in the inherent nature of synonyms. Because of several restrictions on the use of synonyms, translators might not be able to use a more restricted or narrower range of near-synonyms than writers of non-translated texts. A brief quantitative analysis is carried out to explain this issue. A comparable corpus of 2.2 million words, which consists of translated and non-translated Finnish, provides the data for this study; the source language of the translations is English and the registers are academic prose and fiction. The results support the hypothesis of an equally wide range of near-synonyms in both language variants.

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