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Breaking Ground in Corpus-based Interpreting Studies


Edited By Francesco Straniero Sergio and Caterina Falbo

This book focuses on interpretation corpora which is one of the major subjects of research in interpreting studies. It explores key issues such as corpus design and representativeness, as well as aims and challenges of the application of corpus-linguistics principles and methods to interpreting. Interpreting corpora represent a real challenge because of the very nature of the items they are composed of. The oral dimension, the unavoidable stage of transcription and the difficulties in relying on authentic data are only some of the aspects that make the creation of interpreting corpora a complex, challenging and time-consuming activity. The book discusses the theoretical problems and presents the working phases leading to the collection of five different interpreting corpora. The variety of approaches adopted by each research team highlights the fact that aims, interrogation methods and corpus design are intertwined. A survey of the studies carried out so far using these five interpreting corpora identifies data comparability as the core issue of corpus-based interpreting studies.


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FRANCESCO STRANIERO SERGIO and CATERINA FALBO - Studying interpreting through corpora. An introduction 9


9FRANCESCO STRANIERO SERGIO and CATERINA FALBO1 Studying interpreting through corpora. An introduction More than ten years have elapsed since Shlesinger’s (1998) program- matic article, in which corpus-based interpreting studies (CIS, cf. Setton 2011) were considered as an ‘offshoot’ of corpus-based trans- lation studies (CTS). Since then, CIS have remained at their infant stage, whereas CTS have produced a considerable amount of re- search work (Baker 1996, 2004; Kenny 2001; Laviosa 2002; Mauranen / Kujamäki 2004; Olohan 2004; Anderman / Rogers 2008), aimed at investigating “the nature of translated texts as mediated communica- tive events” (Baker 1993: 263). The delay in the development of CIS is not surprising. Making interpretation corpora electronically available to the scientific com- munity requires going through a number of stages, some of which are common to CTS (corpus design, classification, markup, tagging, pars- ing), whereas others are specific to oral texts and particularly oner- ous and time-consuming, such as transcription. These aspects will clearly surface in the contributions making up the present volume which aims at illustrating five interpretation corpora: EPIC (Russo, Bendazzoli, Sandrelli and Spinolo), DIRSI (Bendazzoli), CorIT (Dal Fovo, Falbo, Straniero Sergio), FOOTIE (Sandrelli) and Marta Biagini’s corpus on court hearings. Their development and interrogation, completed or in progress, are closely related to fundamental issues deriving from the applica- tion in translation and interpretation of corpus-linguistics principles and methods. Therefore, the present section will examine the aims 1 Caterina Falbo is the author of paragraphs 1. and 4., kindly translated by Eugenia Dal...

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