Edited By Francesco Straniero Sergio and Caterina Falbo
FRANCESCO STRANIERO SERGIO - Using corpus evidence to discover stylein interpreters’ performances 211
FRANCESCO STRANIERO SERGIO Using corpus evidence to discover style in interpreters’ performances What makes CorIT (cf. Falbo in this volume) significantly different from other interpreting-based corpora is the availability of a large number of simultaneous (SI) and/or consecutive interpretations (CI) delivered by the same interpreter over a period of 15-20 years. I con- sider this a unique research opportunity which makes it possible to undertake a diachronic study of the translational and interactional behaviour of an individual interpreter, aiming at identifying his or her style, understood as his or her distinctive manner of interpreting. The concept of style has not been given as much attention in Interpreting Studies as has quality, which has generated extensive and controversial literature among scholars. However, the two con- cepts, although somehow related, are to be kept separate. Arguably, quality assesses interpreters’ performance according to pre-established standards and shared expectations, using parameters such as equiva- lence, adequacy, appropriateness, acceptability and the like. It is more implicitly prescription-oriented. Style appears to be more neutral (evaluation-free) and description-oriented. The prescriptive approach has dominated Interpreting Studies for a long time, with a priori statements like “what an interpreter performance should be”, or “what an interpreter should do”. From a descriptive viewpoint, we are, however, interested in making state- ments about what an interpretation actually does consist of (rather than what it should consist of). Here, of course, I’m referring to the notion of norms and to Descriptive Translation Studies (Chesterman 1993; Toury 1995; Schäffner 1999). Stylistic features,...
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