ICAME Journal No.23It is my objective then to concentrate specifically on idioms with negativepolarity and to examine them in close detail from both a semantic and a syntac-tic perspective.In earlier research on negation, I pointed out the existence of afairly large number of NPIDs as defined above, that is, expressions that arealways construed in the negative form.This means that their positive counter-parts are either very rarely used or do not seem to fulfill their communicativepurpose.
This is the case, for example, with example :Butter wouldn't melt in his mouth.According to the system of polarity,  is undoubtedly negative; it is in fact aclear instance of sentence or clause negation, because the scope of negationextends over the whole clause and meets all the syntactic requirements to beconsidered as such (Klima 1964).In addition to that, the meaning conveyed isalso negative.Its transformation to the positive (? Butter would melt in hismouth) is grammatically possible
no rules are broken
but is never used likethat, at least in general standard English.Apparently, the existence of NPIDs is not exclusive to English but commonto some other languages, such as Spanish, Galician, French, German, Portu-guese, Italian and so on (Price 1962; George 1970; Gaatone 1971; Bernini andRamat 1992).However, this does not mean that perfect equivalents may befound across different languages.
In fact, some NPIDs may pose serious prob-lems for translation.Consider, for example, : It's no use crying over spilt milk.The literal equivalent in Spanish, No vale la pena llorar sobre leche derramada,may convey the general idea expressed in the English structure, but the commu-nicative value and force are missing.In standard Spanish nobody would saythat.The structure would have to be replaced by expressions such as A lohecho, pecho or Agua pasada no mueve molino, which do not always shownegative polarity.The number of NPIDs in both English and Spanish is relatively quite high ifcompared with the number of idiomatic constructions existing in both lan-guages; it constitutes about five per cent of the total according to my estimates.Savaiano and Winget (1991) list in their glossary of Spanish idioms about 2,000instances.Ninety-three of them are NPIDs; this is equivalent to 4.65 per cent.Cowie, MacKin and McCaig (1983) include a total of 6,600 English idioms.400were found to show negative polarity, that is, six per cent of the total.Similarfigures are detected in both Snchez-Benedito (1977) and Seidl and McCordieNegative polarity idioms in Modern English(1978).It is important to mention, however, that the majority of idioms mayshow both positive and negative polarity:[3a]It's raining cats and dogs.[3b]It's not raining cats and dogs.[4a]Peter beat about the bush the other day.[4b]Peter didn't beat about the bush the other day.In spite of this, it is true that some idiomatic expressions show only positivepolarity, that is, they are positive polarity idioms (PPIDs) in contrast to thealready defined NPIDs:[5a]I could kick myself.[5b]* I couldn't kick myself.[6a]He has a way with children.[6b]* He hasn't a way with children.In some cases, the distinction between NPIDs and PPIDs is not clear-cut; that is,there is sometimes no correspondence between the syntactic structure of the idi-omatic construction and the meaning expressed by it:There is nothing to it.Don't say that you're going for a walk in this wretched weather!I couldn't agree more.Don't tell me they are not home yet!Examples 
 are syntactically negative, but the meaning implied isclearly positive.In fact,  and  are similar to intensifying affirmatives.
Theopposite case, that is, idiomatic forms which are syntactically positive althoughsemantically negative, can also be found, but they seem to be fewer in number:It's too good to be true.It all turned out very badly.2 The studyFor this paper, a dataset of 550 entries of NPIDs was compiled.Although myintention at the very beginning was to come up with a complete and exhaustiveglossary of all the NPIDs existing in modern English, I soon realised that it wasICAME Journal No.23going to prove a very difficult and time-consuming task.So it was deemedadvisable to restrict this preliminary analysis of NPIDs only to a highly repre-sentative sample.
The expressions analysed in the survey were selected from general and spe-cialized dictionaries, Cambridge Dictionary (CAMD), Cambridge Word Selec-tor (CAMWS), Collins Cobuild English Dictionary (CCD), Collins CobuildDictionary of Idioms (CCDI), Collins English-Spanish Dictionary (CESD),Larousse Dictionary (LA), Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English(LDCE), Oxford Dictionary of Current Idiomatic English (ODCIE), Partridge'sDictionary of Slang and Unconventional English (DSUE) and The Penguin Dic-tionary of English Idioms (PDEI), as well as from several phrase and grammarbooks (Wood 1964, 1977; Snchez-Benedito 1977; Seidl and McMordie 1978;Savaiano and Winget 1991; Apperson 1993).These data sources can be consid-ered as the most relevant and up-dated in the existing literature; they containinnumerable idiomatic expressions.Thus, each of the entries listed in theseworks was first studied manually.
Once the NPIDs were singled out and com-piled, a data-base was devised that contained all the key features criterial fortheir study and classification.These properties can be stated as follows:Source.Here the dictionary, or any of the other reference works from whichthe NPID entry had been extracted, was stated.Type of negation expressed: clause or constituent negation.
Within clausenegation, a further distinction was made, when possible, between not nega-tion and no negation instances.Syntactic pattern/structure.This was represented by categories such as NP,VP, AdjP, AdvP, Clause (henceforth, cl.), infinitive (henceforth, inf
.), etc.Meaning.A careful explanat
SUGGESTIONS FOR INDEPENDENT STUDY FOR
COURT INTERPRETERS GENERAL INTEREST Astiz, Carlos A."But They Don't Speak the Language: Achieving Quality Control of Translation in Criminal Courts." The Judges' Journal (Spring 1986): 32-35.Berk-Seligson, Susan.
The Bilingual Courtroom: Court Interpreters in the Judicial Process.
Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1990.Conley, John M., and William M.O'Barr.Rules Versus Relationships: The Ethnography of Legal Discourse.
University of Chicago Press, 1990.
M.An Introduction to Court Interpreting: Theory and Practice.
Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1992.Edwards, Alicia Betsy."Ethical Conduct for the Court Interpreter." The Court Manager, National Association Management, 1988.
Frankenthaler, M.R.Skills for Bilingual Legal Personnel.Cincinnati: South-Western Publishing Co., 1982.Gerver, David, and Sinaiko, H.Wallace, Eds.Language Intepretation and Communication.New York & London: Plenum Press, 1978.Gonzalez, R.D., Vasquez, V.F., and Mikkelson, H.Fundamentals of Court Interpretation: Theory, Policy and Practice.Durham, NC: Carolina Academic Press, 1991.Harding, Edith, and Riley, Philip.The Bilingual Family: A Handbook for Parents.
Cambridge: Cambridge Uni,versity Press, 1986; reprinted 1991.Lederer, Richard.The Miracle of Language.New York: Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc., 1991.Loftus, Elizabeth, and Ketcham, Katherine.
Witness for the Defense: The Accused, the Eyewitness and the Expert Who Puts Memory on Trial.
New York: St.Martin's Press, 1991.Macrone, Michael.It's Greek to Me! New York: Cader Books, Harper Collins Publishers, 1991.
Marquez, Alex and Marta.The New Interpreters Handbook: A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Professional Interpreter.Anaheim: Iberia Language Press, 1987.O'Barr, William M.
Linguistic Evidence: Language, Power, and Strategy in the Courtroom.
New York: Academic Press, 1982.Rainof, Alexander."How Best to Use an Interpreter in Court." California State Bar Journal, Vol.
55, No.5 (May 1980): 196-200.Roberts, Roda P., Ed.L'interpretation
Aupres des Tribunaux.Ottawa: Editions de L'Universite d'Ottawa, 1981.(Articles in both French and English).Solan, Lawrence M.
The Language of Judges.Chicago: University of Chicago Press, 1994.Tannen, Deborah.That's Not What I Meant! New York: Ballentine Books, 1987; reprinted 1991.Rainof, Alexander.
"Where Showing the Finger Points to the Truth." California Attorneys for Criminal Justice Forum, Vol.1-8, No.4 (July-August 1991): 50-52.SLANG/IDIOMS Chapman, Robert L.Thesaurus of American Slang.
New York: Harper & Row, 1989; 1991.Mikkai, Adam, Boatner, Maxine T., and Gates, John E.Handbook of Commonly Used American Idioms.New York: Barron's Educational Series, 1984.Partridge, Eric.Smaller Slang Dictionary.New York: Dorset Press, 1986.
Spears, Richard A.NTC's Dictionary of American Colloquial Expressions.Illinois: National Textbook Company, 1989; 1992.
LEGAL TERMINOLOGY Dictionary of Criminal Justice Terms, New York: Gould Publications, 1984.DICTIONARIES Glazier, Stephen.Random House Word Menu.New York: Random House, 1992. GLOSSARIES McKenna, Dennis.
Criminal Court Dictionary: English-Spanish Espaol-Ingls Western Addition.Pasadena, CA: Adelfa Books, 2006.McKenna, Dennis.Dictionary of Mexicanismos, Second Edition: Slang, Colloquialisms and Expressions Used in Mexico.
Rainof, Alexander.Glossary of Insults and Invective English-Spanish & Spanish-English.Santa Monica: A-Lexis Publications, 1989.
Rainof, Alexander.GRE Level General Spanish and English Terminology: False Cognates and Translation/Interpretation Annotated Bibliography.Santa Monica: A-Lexis Publications, 1993.
Rainof, Alexander.Medical and Drug Terminology.Santa Monica: A-Lexis Publications, 1989.
Rainof, Alexander.Penal and Civil Terminology English-Spanish.Santa Monica: A-Lexis Publications, 1990.Rainof, Alexander.Weapons Other Than Firearms and Tools Used as Weapons.Santa Monica: A-Lexis Publications, 1990.Free glossary of English-Spanish legal terms at http://ernestoromero.net/LS.pdf .BILINGUAL AND GENERIC BOOKS FOR SKILLS ENHANCEMENT Benson, Morton and Evelyn, and Ilson, Robert.The BBI Combinatory Dictionary of English: A Guide to Word Combinations.
Philadelpha: John Benjamin's Publishing Co., 1986.Young, Richard.Using the BBI: A Workbook with Exercises for the BBI Combinatory Dictionary of English.Philadelphia: John Benjamin's Publishing Co., 1991.Mikkelson, H.
The Interpreter's Edge.Spreckels, CA: Acebo Press, 1992.Mikkelson, H.
The Interpreter's Edge, Generic Edition.Self-Study Package.
Consecutive Forensic Interpretation Methodology and Exercises.Santa Monica:
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