Author Topic: Changing words in a quotation  (Read 2093 times)

Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #30 on: December 29, 2016, 07:52:00 AM »
I would like to kindly ask you a question concerning the way sources are written in a bibliography. Could you tell me which of the two options is the most correct in both examples?

1) Stevenson, A (ed.). 2010. Oxford Dictionary of English. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
2) Oxford Dictionary of English. Stevenson, A (ed.). 2010. 3rd ed. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

1) Marr, V (ed.). 2008. The Chambers Dictionary. 11th ed. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap.
2) The Chambers Dictionary. Marr, V (ed.). 2008. Edinburgh: Chambers Harrap.
« Last Edit: December 29, 2016, 08:08:38 AM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #31 on: December 29, 2016, 08:50:13 AM »
It ENTIRELY depends on the specific format you're using. On a personal level, just be consistent (with whatever format you choose). But on a more practical level, use whatever your instructor/advisor/editor tells you! Most journals have a specific required format, and you just need to use that, whoever you are, and whatever you usually do.

In linguistics, usually most citations are done in the Author-Year format, so that in the text you cite like "Chomsky (2016)" (or variants), and then in the bibliography you cite with the author first, then the year, then the title and other information. This is like your first examples.
[Rarely, but more commonly in older works you might read, linguists sometimes cite things in footnotes rather than in a bibliography at the end. You will be rarely if ever asked to do this today, so I'd recommend not assuming it. The other thing I see that is not normal for linguistics is using a numbered list in the bibliography and citing by reference number, like [33] for your 33rd entry. This is done in some journals to save space-- I think Science, for example. But not normal linguistics research. Engineers do that a lot, so someone who has seen that might accidentally assume it for linguistics too, but it's not what a linguist should default to.]

But some formats require specific commas, parentheses, additional information, capitalization, and other mostly irrelevant technical details, which only matter within that style. What really matters is having enough information there, and being consistent. But what ends up being important is whatever you're told to do.

If you aren't told to use any specific format, just pick one-- APA, Chicago, MLA, etc.
I would suggest the Unified Style for Linguistics:
http://www.linguisticsociety.org/sites/default/files/style-sheet_0.pdf
(The only problem is that it isn't so widely known so that it might not be available for automatic citations in all programs, etc. Most linguistics professors will probably accept this, unless they specifically require some other format, while they will probably reject one or more of the other possibilities out there.)

I strongly recommend a citation manager (like Zotero, which is free, but there are lots of options) to organize your references and automatically generate bibliographies. You can easily convert between formats (if/when you're told to) and never need to type anything manually or check whether all of your references are in the bibliography.


Short answer:
1. Do whatever you want as long as it's clear and consistent.
2. Generally make it look like what other people in your field are doing. (This is one time when it's OK to just copy other scholars!)
3. Do whatever you're told to do by your instructor/advisor/editor. -- or you might not pass/graduate/publish
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #32 on: January 01, 2017, 01:57:10 PM »
Thank you :)

Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #33 on: January 06, 2017, 02:02:12 AM »
I would like to ask you just one more question concerning the use of direct quotation.

Generally I follow British English spelling system so, for example, I write 'lexicalisation', 'lexicalised', etc. And if I want to directly quote an author who uses the word 'lexicalized' in a sentence, I cannot change/update it to 'lexicalised', right?

I assume that I cannot change the spelling of words I cite as examples from other books?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 05:47:28 AM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #34 on: January 06, 2017, 09:22:08 AM »
This is a question about translation.

No, you cannot just change parts of a quotation. Sometimes you might want to translate a quotation from a different language (to English, or whatever language your paper is in), and in those cases you would add a footnote with the original or some other indication ("[translation mine]", etc.) to explain that.

Given that it would be absurd to do that with two different spelling systems for English (everyone can understand, or at the very least guess about, both), then you should just leave the original.

If you want to change it, you can use "lexicali[s]e", which again seems silly to do.

Rarely, some authors will translate a quotation without any kind of notice (although you may be able to guess from the citation/bibliography that it wasn't originally in English). I personally think this is not appropriate without any kind of indication, but it does happen. I've never seen it for different spellings, though. Or at least I don't think I have. Maybe sometimes it happens and no one notices. But it certainly is the less likely option, and it's better to not to it. There just isn't any advantage.

As for using a term, yes, you can change the spelling in your writing, outside of direct quotations. This is frequently done for different languages ("The authors call this phenomenon X", where X was originally in German [etc.] but written here in English translation"). And it's very common for English spelling differences too. I personally do research about verb serialization, for example, and British spelling papers write "serialisation" with no difference in meaning.

Note: if there is ever an error that you want to mark as the original author's and not your own you can write "[sic.]" but that implies it is an error rather than a spelling difference. I would not recommend it in this case, but if you ever find a typo it's probably better to not "fix it" for them.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:13:55 PM by djr33 »
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #35 on: January 06, 2017, 12:06:06 PM »
You says that "As for using a term, yes, you can change the spelling in your writing, outside of direct quotations."

So you mean that I can do like this:

"According to Plag (2005: 45) "such atypical bahviour is the result of lexicalization." However, lexicalisation..."

Is that what you meant?

What about the names of theroies? For example here is a sentence: "Brown (2005: 34) formulates the so-called Generalized Lexicalist Hypothesis."

If I want to discuss the hypothesis, I should still refer to it as 'Generalized Lexicalist Hypothesis', or I may change 'z' to 's' as in 'Generalised Lexicalist Hypothesis.' Personally I think that it would be a strange way to do so, but I do not know.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 12:08:06 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #36 on: January 06, 2017, 12:17:22 PM »
Quote
"According to Plag (2005: 45) "such atypical bahviour is the result of lexicalization." However, lexicalisation..."

Is that what you meant?
Yes.

Quote
What about the names of theroies? For example here is a sentence: "Brown (2005: 34) formulates the so-called Generalized Lexicalist Hypothesis."

If I want to discuss the hypothesis, I should still refer to it as 'Generalized Lexicalist Hypothesis', or I may change 'z' to 's' as in 'Generalised Lexicalist Hypothesis.' Personally I think that it would be a strange way to do so, but I do not know.
I agree that's a little strange, but the differences in British and American spelling are strange, so there's no obvious answer. This is unrelated to your original question (the answer is the same as above): you have to decide if you want to change it to British spelling or use the American spelling for consistency.

Honestly, you might consider just using American spelling (at least for technical terms) because it's so common in many things you will be citing. But many British authors choose to change everything, including the names of terms and theories. (Theories specifically might be better left in the original format, but it doesn't really matter, and changes to theory names are common anyway like the different ways to say "Minimalism", "Minimalist Program" and so forth.)
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #37 on: January 06, 2017, 01:09:05 PM »
So can I just use the British spelling from the very beginning?
That is, can I write  "Brown (2005: 34) formulates the so-called Generalised Lexicalist Hypothesis." (although he originally uses 'Generalized Lexicalist Hypothesis')?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 01:14:25 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #38 on: January 06, 2017, 01:19:11 PM »
There's going to be an inconsistency somewhere:
1. Between the original work (and direct quotations) and your use of the term.
2. Between your introduction of the term and your continued use of the term.
3. Between the spelling of the term and the spelling of everything else in your paper.

I'd choose (1) or (3), but it's up to you. (2) seems a little weird to me, but might make sense in certain contexts.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #39 on: January 06, 2017, 01:32:13 PM »
What would you choose exactly? I do not understand, I am afraid.

You are right that there will be some inconsistency. Perhaps I will consider using American spelling, as you suggested. I have noted that the -ize spelling is much more commonly used in academic papers.


Besides, I have read on the Internet that

"British spelling mostly uses -ise, while -ize is also used (organise/organize, realise/realize, recognise/recognize)"

"Verbs in British English that can be spelled with either -ize or -ise at the end."

Is that true?

Can I then use words like 'recognize', 'characterize', etc. together with, for example, 'behaviour' ?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 02:00:07 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #40 on: January 06, 2017, 02:13:13 PM »
I'm American, so I can't say anything for certain about British usage. But certainly any British researcher would be able to easily understand American spelling and would not be surprised by it if you were using it in the same way that American authors do. I also believe that if anything the flexibility is more in British English than American English because it's not really acceptable (in normal American English usage) to spell things the British way, with perhaps a handful of specific words as exceptions (some people like to write "theatre", maybe even "colour", etc., but not all words, and the -ise suffix is especially strange to American eyes).

This is also, like your other questions, possibly best answered by a publisher (or instructor/advisor). Some publishers have requirements for using British or American spelling, while others allow the authors to choose. And they might have requirements or suggestions about what to do in this case.

Personally I would quote the spelling as the original author used it, but if I was using it myself (adopting the term for my own usage or discussing the meaning/relevance of the parts of the term) I would change the spelling to American spelling (if it was British). If I just mentioned the theory once, I would probably keep the original spelling. But if I introduced it in order to use it multiple times (again, adopting the term as my own, for continued use) then I would change it to American spelling and use it consistently that way.

In the end, none of this really matters except that you should not change the spelling of direct quotations (or of titles in your bibliography-- it's really annoying when I've seen authors change/misspell titles for articles in British English so I can't find them while searching online for them!).


This reminds me of in my own research how certain terms are used a little differently (not a dialectal issue; but see also what I said about "serializ/sation" above). Specifically I do research with "coordination" and "pseudocoordination" and this is written differently by different authors: coordination, co-ordination, and even coördination (in older works); and pseudo-coordination, or pseudocoordination. There is absolutely no meaning difference and no one seems to care about the spelling. They use the terms interchangeably and would say things like the following:

Quote
AuthorX considers SomeConstruction to be a kind of pseudocoordination: "This phrase is a pseudo-coordination because..." (....
Even with the spellings directly contradicting each other, it really isn't a problem.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #41 on: January 06, 2017, 02:29:48 PM »
So just to make sure: you suggest that, in my place, you would introduce the name of the theory, e.g. Generalized Lexicalist Theory as it is originally, and then you would change the spelling into Generalised Lexicalist Theory?

However, you already agree that it is a bit strange.

My second question to you is: Do you think that it will be acceptable if I use -ize ending (recognize, organize, etc.) and -ou ending as in 'behaviour'?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 02:40:37 PM by Natalia »

Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #42 on: January 06, 2017, 02:40:13 PM »
No. In general I would just use "Generalised Lexicalist Theory" from the beginning, assuming I am doing to adopt the term for my own usage rather than just mentioning it as the name of something someone else used.

There is a distinction between using and mentioning, so that's what I was talking about. In general, unless you are discussing issues of terminology, you will probably be using the name, so you should spell it in the way that is most natural for your work. Only in direct quotations would you keep the original spelling.

But again, this is not a very important issue and few readers would ever notice. You could keep the Z, or switch to S. Mixing S and Z (my option #2 two posts up) seems strange.
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Offline Daniel

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #43 on: January 06, 2017, 02:46:04 PM »
Quote
My second question to you is: Do you think that it will be acceptable if I use -ize ending (recognize, organize, etc.) and -ou ending as in 'behaviour'?
That's half American and half British. It's not confusing to understand (except that I might start wondering about your spelling), but it also doesn't seem helpful. Changing the way you are spelling your whole paper just because of borrowed terms seems excessive. Just change the term and be done with it. Or, if you want, use American spelling for the whole paper.
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Offline Natalia

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Re: Changing words in a quotation
« Reply #44 on: January 06, 2017, 03:10:38 PM »
Is it correct to use an author's name of the theory (provide the page in which the theory is used) and change the spelling to your own?

For example:
"Bauer (YEAR, PAGE) calls it 'relativised approach'. (original spelling: 'relativized spproach')


What If I introduced the name of a theory and then discussed the theory in the following sentences without using the name?

For example:
"Bauer (YEAR, PAGE) calls it 'relativised approach'. According to this approach..."

Then I should also use my spelling from the very beginning?
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 03:26:13 PM by Natalia »