Chekalina E.M. Expressing an Unspecified Agent in Swedish and Russian: A Comparative Analysis and Translation Practice
The article presents a contrastive description of the ways of expressing the indefinite-personal agent in Swedish and Russian. Expressing the passive voice with an implicit agent in Swedish and Russian exhibits a systemic-typological similarity as both languages have forms with reflexive markers (-ся/-s) and analytic constructions with passive participles, although in functional-semantic terms there are significant discrepancies between them. The main focus of the article is therefore the ways of expressing an unspecified agent in the active mood, which are conditioned by the principle differences between the grammatical systems of these two languages. In Swedish the main means for that is the indefinite-personal pronoun man in the syntactic function of grammatical subject, and in Russian – special functions of verbal agreement categories in the predicates of mononuclear sentences with 3rd person plural and 2nd person singular forms. The contrastive analysis is carried out on the basis of literary fiction texts in the original language and their translations both from Swedish to Russian and from Russian to Swedish. It includes taking into account functional-pragmatic differences not only between Swedish and Russian, but also between mononuclear indefinite-personal and generalised-personal utterances with differently encoded grammatical predicates in Russian. A contextual analysis of lexical-syntactic and stylistic aspects of choosing translation equivalents exposes still other, more peripheral ways of expressing indefinite-personal agents while preserving the main structural-syntactic differences between the languages. This is manifest in the binuclearity of Swedish sentences with various pronouns in the function of indefinite-personal grammatical subject (någon ‘somebody’; vi ‘we’; de ‘they’; flera ‘several / some people’) and the variation in mononuclear sentences with indefinite-personal predicates of various structure in Russian.