/ Research

Two new publications by Dr Elena Dubenko

The articles present the findings of her research in cognitive linguistics and cognitive translation studies.

Dubenko Elena (2022) Across-language masculinity of oceans and femininity of guitars: Exploring grammatical gender universalities.  Frontiers in Psychology. Volume 13:1009966. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpsyg.2022.1009966

This is the first cross-language study to reveal nouns with invariable masculine or feminine grammatical gender assignments in nine gendered languages from different groups of the Indo-European family. It evidences that many cases of gender universality have semantic motivation – an entity’s grammatical gender correlates with either traditional masculine/feminine connotations, or cultural and symbolic implications. The study’s results also testify thematic preferences: most masculine grammatical gender universalities are found for the nouns denoting artifacts, whereas most feminine universalities are identified for abstract concepts. The apparent existence of grammatical gender universalities has a cognitive significance. From a psycholinguistic perspective, grammatical gender is viewed as a built-in personification pattern for speakers’ mental representations.

The article is available open access.


Dubenko Elena & Golubovska Iryna (2022) Gestalt closure strategies for rendering personified images of Moon, Sun, Love, and Death in poetry translation into Ukrainian.  Perspectives: Studies in Translation Theory and Practice, 2022, 30 (6), 982-995. https://doi.org/10.1080/0907676X.2022.2052121

The study highlights the translation strategies motivated by the matrices of the national poetic mappings of the world in the original and recipient cultures. The methodological instrument of revealing and describing this link has been found in the conceptual analysis of images within the framework of the English and Ukrainian poetic models of the world and in the application of the gestaltist laws of Prägnanz and Closure. The paper delineates the cognitive underpinnings of translators’ decisions in the situations of limited translatability of the source-personified images conditioned by their culture-bound gender characteristics. Although the research is performed on the basis of two concrete poetic worldview systems, it investigates universal cognitive regularities of literary translation as gestalt principles state the general rules of human perception.