Evidence of repair mechanisms in simultaneous interpreting
A corpus-based analysis
This paper investigates the phenomenon of repairs in simultaneous interpreting. Taking an interdisciplinary approach, the paper combines research carried out in psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics on speech production with studies in the pragmatics of speech reception. A principally qualitative method is used in the analysis of a trilingual corpus (English/French/German) of eight professional conference interpreters recorded at four different international conferences. This paper presents eight examples from English into two different A languages: French (5 examples) and German (3 examples). Levelt’s (1983, 1989) nomenclature of repairs in spontaneous speech is slightly amended in order to take the simultaneous interpreting process into account. The results show that interpreters not only repair errors, but take time to attend to their outputs for different reasons. The limited quantitative analysis shows a discrepancy between interpreters. The various dimensions of repair mechanisms highlighted in this paper give us some insights into the interpreter’s mind at work, or the interpreter’s deployment of processing capacities and decision-making processes.
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