The impact of language exposure on fluency in simultaneous interpreting

Oleksandr Kapranov

    Research output: ThesisDoctoral Thesis

    381 Downloads (Pure)

    Abstract

    Five experiments are presented in this thesis. They investigate the impact of the interpreter's language exposure on the interpreter's fluency in simultaneous interpreting. The measurement of the interpreter's fluency involves a quantitative procedure developed by Kirsner and his colleagues (2002). The procedure is based on computer-assisted analyses of pause and speech segment durations and associated variables. The quantitative measures are employed to determine whether or not different levels of the language exposure influence fluency in simultaneous interpreting. The impact of the interpreter's language exposure is elaborated upon within the framework of dynamic systems theory. Experiment 1 is a pilot case study investigating the applicability of the methodology developed by Kirsner and his colleagues (2002, 2005) to the research in fluency in simultaneous interpreting. In Experiments 2-5 this methodology is extended to investigate the impact of the participants' language exposure on fluency in simultaneous interpreting involving various language pair combinations. Experiment 2 investigates the interpreter students' exposure to their third working language, Norwegian. It has been found that the participant's fluency in the experimental tasks critically depends on the amount of out-of-classroom language exposure, involving the language exposure to Swedish, a language typologically closely related to Norwegian. Experiment 3 investigates the impact of the interpreter students' language exposure gained during the stay abroad in Germany on their fluency in interpretation from/into German. Significant gains in fluency due to the stay abroad have been found between the groups of participants and their respective controls who studied German at their respective home universities. Experiments 4 and 5 explore the impact of the on-going language exposure to the interpreter's second language in the conditions of discontinuity in practicing simultaneous interpreting. The participants with the language pair combinations Finnish/Swedish (experiment 4) and English/Russian (experiment 5) have discontinued practicing simultaneous interpreting, yet enjoy a continuous exposure to their working languages. The participants have exhibited superior fluency measures compared to their respective controls (beginner and advanced students), and inferior fluency measures compared to the control group of professional interpreters. Data analysis of all the participants under all experimental conditions have not yielded any pause duration distributions specific to simultaneous interpreting.
    Original languageEnglish
    QualificationDoctor of Philosophy
    Publication statusUnpublished - 2008

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