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Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span

Camille Collard UGent and Bart Defrancq UGent (2016)
abstract
Sex differences in memory tasks have been widely documented. Previous research has shown that women perform better than men in recall tasks (Maitland, 2004 ; Kimura et Seal, 2003), in word association tasks (Loonstra et al., 2001) and are more likely to use semantic organizational strategies during recall (Kramer et al.,1988). As memory plays a key role in simultaneous interpreting (Gile, 1995 inter alia), the question arises whether differences in memory performance are observable in interpreting data. Drawing on data from consecutive interpreting in a legal context, Mason (2008) suggests that the higher number of omissions in men's interpretations is due to memory limitations. Defrancq (2013) observed a longer EVS in female interpreters than in male interpreters in a corpus of interpreting data. EVS is generally held to be the time a concept is stored in working memory. Assuming interpreters make full use of their cognitive capacities (Gile's (1995) tight-rope hypothesis), including memory capacities, female interpreters are indeed expected to present a longer EVS than men. This study builds on Defrancq (2013), but is carried out with a significantly improved data set, both in terms of accuracy of EVS measuring and in terms of metadata. The data sample consists of 36 source texts (FR) and 36 interpretations (NL) performed at the European Parliament. Source speeches and interpretations are transcribed and aligned in EXMARaLDA Partitur-Editor. EVS measurement is based on 1819 time tags linking up lexical equivalents in the aligned acoustic signals of source and target text. The preliminary results from this study confirm Defrancq's (2013) findings: female interpreters on average have a longer EVS and the difference with male interpreters is statistically significant. Further analysis will be needed to take into account possible distorting factors, such as interpreters' fatigue, speakers' delivery rate, etc. References Defrancq, B. (2013). "Women and men interpreting" Paper read at "Talking to the World" Conference, Newcastle, September 2013. Gile, D. (1995). Regards sur la recherche en interprétation de conférence. Lille: PUL. Kimura, D., and Seal, B. (2003). Sex differences in recall of real or nonsense words. Pychological Reports, 93, pp. 263-264. Kramer, J., Delis, D., & Daniel, M. (1988). Sex differences in verbal learning. Journal of Clinical Psychology, 44, pp. 907-915. Loonstra, A., A. Tarlow & A. Sellers (2001). COWAT metanorms across age, education and gender. Applied neuropsychology, 8(3), pp 161-166 Maitland, S.B., Herlitz A., Nynberg L., Nilsson L-G. (2004). Selective sex differences in declarative memory. Memory & Cognition, 2004, 32(7), pp. 1160-1169 Mason, M. (2008). Courtroom interpreting. Maryland: UPA Moser-Mercer, B. (1978). "Simultaneous interpretation: A hypothetical model and its practical application." In: D. Gerver, and W. Sinaiko (eds.). Language interpretation and communication, New York: Plenum Press, pp. 353-368
Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:
author
organization
year
type
conference (meetingAbstract)
publication status
published
subject
keyword
Corpus, Interpreting, Sex differences
conference name
European Society for Translation Studies congress
conference organizer
European Society for Translation Studies
conference location
Aarhus
UGent publication?
yes
classification
C3
id
8518871
handle
http://hdl.handle.net/1854/LU-8518871
date created
2017-04-27 14:56:30
date last changed
2017-05-05 09:12:15
@inproceedings{8518871,
  abstract     = {Sex differences in memory tasks have been widely documented. Previous research has shown that
women perform better than men in recall tasks (Maitland, 2004 ; Kimura et Seal, 2003), in word
association tasks (Loonstra et al., 2001) and are more likely to use semantic organizational strategies
during recall (Kramer et al.,1988).
As memory plays a key role in simultaneous interpreting (Gile, 1995 inter alia), the question arises
whether differences in memory performance are observable in interpreting data. Drawing on data
from consecutive interpreting in a legal context, Mason (2008) suggests that the higher number of
omissions in men's interpretations is due to memory limitations. Defrancq (2013) observed a longer
EVS in female interpreters than in male interpreters in a corpus of interpreting data. EVS is generally
held to be the time a concept is stored in working memory. Assuming interpreters make full use of
their cognitive capacities (Gile's (1995) tight-rope hypothesis), including memory capacities, female
interpreters are indeed expected to present a longer EVS than men. This study builds on Defrancq
(2013), but is carried out with a significantly improved data set, both in terms of accuracy of EVS
measuring and in terms of metadata. The data sample consists of 36 source texts (FR) and 36
interpretations (NL) performed at the European Parliament. Source speeches and interpretations are
transcribed and aligned in EXMARaLDA Partitur-Editor. EVS measurement is based on 1819 time
tags linking up lexical equivalents in the aligned acoustic signals of source and target text.
The preliminary results from this study confirm Defrancq's (2013) findings: female interpreters on
average have a longer EVS and the difference with male interpreters is statistically significant. Further
analysis will be needed to take into account possible distorting factors, such as interpreters' fatigue,
speakers' delivery rate, etc.
References
Defrancq, B. (2013). {\textacutedbl}Women and men interpreting{\textacutedbl} Paper read at {\textacutedbl}Talking to the World{\textacutedbl} Conference,
Newcastle, September 2013.
Gile, D. (1995). Regards sur la recherche en interpr{\'e}tation de conf{\'e}rence. Lille: PUL.
Kimura, D., and Seal, B. (2003). Sex differences in recall of real or nonsense words. Pychological
Reports, 93, pp. 263-264.
Kramer, J., Delis, D., \& Daniel, M. (1988). Sex differences in verbal learning. Journal of Clinical
Psychology, 44, pp. 907-915.
Loonstra, A., A. Tarlow \& A. Sellers (2001). COWAT metanorms across age, education and gender.
Applied neuropsychology, 8(3), pp 161-166
Maitland, S.B., Herlitz A., Nynberg L., Nilsson L-G. (2004). Selective sex differences in declarative
memory. Memory \& Cognition, 2004, 32(7), pp. 1160-1169
Mason, M. (2008). Courtroom interpreting. Maryland: UPA
Moser-Mercer, B. (1978). {\textacutedbl}Simultaneous interpretation: A hypothetical model and its practical
application.{\textacutedbl} In: D. Gerver, and W. Sinaiko (eds.). Language interpretation and communication, New
York: Plenum Press, pp. 353-368},
  author       = {Collard, Camille and Defrancq, Bart},
  keyword      = {Corpus,Interpreting,Sex differences},
  location     = {Aarhus},
  title        = {Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span},
  year         = {2016},
}

Chicago
Collard, Camille, and Bart Defrancq. 2016. “Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span.” In .
APA
Collard, Camille, & Defrancq, B. (2016). Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span. Presented at the European Society for Translation Studies congress.
Vancouver
1.
Collard C, Defrancq B. Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span. 2016.
MLA
Collard, Camille, and Bart Defrancq. “Sex Differences in Ear-Voice-Span.” 2016. Print.