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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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CATERINA FALBO - CorIT (Italian Television Interpreting Corpus): classification criteria 155


CATERINA FALBO CorIT (Italian Television Interpreting Corpus): classification criteria1 The long-felt need to study interpreting from a comprehensive per- spective for the sake of ecological validity is at the origin of the work carried out at the SSLMIT of Trieste, which consisted of collecting interpretations performed on Italian television for an Italian audi- ence. CorIT is the result of a ten-year-long careful scrutiny of the RAI – Italian state-owned public service broadcaster – archives by Straniero Sergio, with the aim of collecting every single interpreter’s performance broadcast on Italian television. Further recordings of shows from other Italian commercial broadcasters were subsequently added. CorIT covers almost fifty years of Italian television, starting from the first simultaneous interpretation on television during the Moon landing coverage (cf. Straniero Sergio 2007) up until the latest US presidential debates and the so far unique example of British prime ministerial debate, i. e. Cameron / Clegg / Brown 20102. Television is not merely the situational setting in which the interpretation service is provided: it is also a specific environment, significantly influencing each performance (Falbo 2012). This is why, while observing each individual item3 composing CorIT, the follow- ing pivotal points were identified and will be discussed in the present chapter: main features of CorIT (1.) and their repercussions on the re- definition of allegedly established concepts, such as “corpus”; classi- fication criteria (2.) and key concepts (3.) that led to their definition, 1 Kindly translated by Eugenia Dal Fovo. 2 Regardless of the classification criteria illustrated in the...

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