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Breaking Ground in Corpus-based Interpreting Studies

Series:

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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MARTA BIAGINI - Data collection in the courtroom: challenges and perspectives for the researcher 231

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231 MARTA BIAGINI Data collection in the courtroom: challenges and perspectives for the researcher This chapter aims to examine a central methodological issue in our on-going PhD research on dialogue interpreting in the courtroom, i. e. data collection and its challenges and perspectives for the re- searcher. It is perhaps worth mentioning that a corpus-based approach is proving to be a fruitful methodological framework, likely the only one able to provide descriptive research in dialogue interpreting, with well-adapted tools to carry out macro and micro linguistic and dis- cursive analysis. Hence, we intend to present here, firstly, what are the implications for data collection within the scope of a corpus-based approach in dialogue interpreting as well as what corpora have been examined in the existing literature on dialogue interpreting so far; secondly, how our research issues on dialogue interpreting in the court- room have been tackled within a corpus-based approach; thirdly, what is the Italian socio-professional context which backgrounds our de- scription of the professional fieldwork of courtroom interpreting in Italy. Finally, we will dwell on what challenges the researcher has to face in collecting data and what new perspectives, observation and analysis can provide a valuable contribution to. 1. A corpus-based approach for dialogue interpreting studies: theoretical and methodological implications The obvious starting point of the enquiry within a corpus-based ap- proach is observable data itself. Hence, we will here briefly consider some relevant theoretical and methodological issues as far as the 232 function and scope of a corpus...

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