Discussion
Pragmatic analysis as a methodology: A reply to Gile’s review of Setton (1999)

Robin Setton

Abstract

A few years ago I proposed a new ‘cognitive-pragmatic’ approach to understanding simultaneous interpretation (Setton 1999) which has, gratifyingly, been acknowledged in several reviews, including one in these pages (Target 13:1 (2001, 177–183). The editor has kindly let me use it as an opportunity to clear up some misunderstandings, respond to some stimulating challenges, and try to develop some recent ideas on how to operationalise the paradigm.

Table of contents

Daniel Gile’s summary of the book’s content is fair as far as it goes, but disappointing in virtually ignoring the whole pragmatics dimension—specifically the application of Relevance theory (RT) to interpreting. Some other proposals which go unchallenged include (i) the argument that the very fact of translation lends strong support to the language of thought hypothesis; (ii) the discussion of possible evidence from pause patterns for a model of attention allocation (Chapter 7) ; and (iii) the epistemological proposal that everything uttered by the interpreter (or any speaker) must be sourced and accounted for in cognitive and pragmatic terms, thus allowing—a rather important claim, I feel—TL elements formerly marginalised or dismissed as ‘stylistic’, ‘neutral’ or ‘subjective’ (in information-centred accounts) to be integrated in a cognitive and communicative account of the interpreting process.

Full-text access is restricted to subscribers. Log in to obtain additional credentials. For subscription information see Subscription & Price. Direct PDF access to this article can be purchased through our e-platform.

References

Anderson, Linda
1979Simultaneous interpretation: Contextual and translation aspects. Montreal: Concordia University. [Unpublished master’s thesis.]Google Scholar
Blakemore, Diane
1987Semantic constraints on relevance. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Carston, Robyn
Forthcoming. “Relevance theory and the saying/implicating distinction”. Laurence R. Horn and Gregory Ward eds. Handbook of pragmatics Oxford Blackwell Crossref
Chafe, Wallace L.
1987 “Cognitive constraints on information flow”. Russell S. Tomlin, ed. Coherence and grounding in discourse. Amsterdam: John Benjamins 1987 21–51.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Gerver, David and H. Wallace Sinaiko
eds. 1978Language interpreting and communication. New York and London: Plenum Press.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Gile, Daniel
1990 “Scientific research vs. personal theories in the investigation of interpretation”. Laura Gran and Christopher Taylor, eds. Aspects of applied and experimental research on conference interpretation. Udine: Campanotto 1990 28–41.Google Scholar
1995Regards sur la recherche en interprétation de conférence. Lille: Presses Universitaires de Lille.Google Scholar
1999 “Testing the effort models’ tightrope hypothesis in simultaneous interpreting—Acontribution”. Hermes: Journal of linguistics 23. 153–172.Google Scholar
[ p. 360 ]
2001Review of Setton (1999) . Target 13:1. 177–183.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Isham, William P.
1994 “Memory for sentence form after simultaneous interpretation: Evidence both for and against deverbalization”. Sylvie Lambert and Barbara Moser-Mercer, eds. Bridging the gap: Empirical research in simultaneous interpretation. Amsterdam—Philadelphia: John Benjamins 1994 191–211.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Jackendoff, Ray
1990Semantic structures. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.Google Scholar
Lederer, Marianne
1978 “Simultaneous interpretation: Units of meaning and other features”. Gerver and Sinaiko 1978 : 323–332.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Matsui, Tomoko
1998 “Assessing a scenario-based account of bridging reference assignment”. Robyn Carston and Uchida Seiji, eds. Relevance theory: Applications and implications. Amsterdam—Philadelphia: John Benjamins 1998 123–160.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Moser, Barbara
1978 “Simultaneous interpretation: a hypothetical model and its practical application”. Gerver and Snaiko 1978 . 353–368.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Setton, Robin
1998 “Meaning assembly in simultaneous interpretation”. Interpreting 3:2. 163–199.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
1999Simultaneous interpretation:A cognitive-pragmatic analysis. Amsterdam—Philadelphia: John Benjamins.   CrossrefGoogle Scholar
Sperber, Dan and Deirdre Wilson
1986/1995Relevance: Communication and cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.Google Scholar
Tommola, Jorma and Pekka Niemi
1986 “Mental load in simultaneous interpreting: An online pilot study”. I. Evensen, ed. Nordic research in text linguistics and discourse analysis. Trondheim: Tapir 1986 171–184.Google Scholar
Wilss, Wolfram
1978 “Syntactic anticipation in German-English simultaneous interpretation”. Gerver and Sinaiko 1978 : 335–343. CrossrefGoogle Scholar