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Disfluencies in simultaneous interpreting a corpus-based study with special reference to sex

Camille Collard (UGent) and Bart Defrancq (UGent)
Author
Organization
Project
Gender en sex dimensions of simultaneous interpreting
Abstract
This paper reports on a study on disfluencies (filled and silent pauses, false starts and lengthenings) in simultaneous interpreting carried out on corpus data drawn from the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus Ghent (EPICG). The aim of this research project is to analyse the influence of the interpreter’s sex alongside sixteen predictors in the production of disfluencies. Simultaneous interpreting is a cognitively demanding task for which interpreters often experience high cognitive load. Studies show that females seem to outperform males on verbal tasks (Herlitz et al. 1997; Loonstra et al. 2001; Maitland et al. 2004; Hirnstein et al. 2014 inter alia) and on memory tasks (Trahan & Quintana 1990; Kimura & Seal 2003 inter alia). Despite these differences and the potential impact the existence or absence of sex differences could have on research and training, few interpreting studies take sex as a control variable (Cecot 2001; Mason 2008; Baes 2012; Defrancq 2013; Magnifico & Defrancq 2016; 2017). This research project therefore attempts to determine whether sex differences have an influence on disfluencies. If women perform better at verbal tasks and need to dedicate less energy to the concurrent cognitive processes involved in simultaneous interpreting, they are less likely to be affected by cognitive load. Since disfluencies are believed to be the consequence of cognitive load, we can assume that female interpreters produce fewer disfluencies than male interpreters. The data sample consists of 180 source texts and 180 interpretations in six language pairs (from and into English, French and Dutch) and is based on a parallel acoustic aligned and time-tagged corpus. Results confirm the hypothesis as they show that male interpreters produce more disfluencies than female interpreters. The analyses also show that most of the predictors included in the study have a significant influence on the production of disfluencies by interpreters.
Keywords
simultaneous interpreting, disfluencies, corpus: sex differences.

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Citation

Please use this url to cite or link to this publication:

Chicago
Collard, Camille, and Bart Defrancq. 2019. “Disfluencies in Simultaneous Interpreting a Corpus-based Study with Special Reference to Sex.” In New Empirical Perspectives on Translation and Interpreting.
APA
Collard, Camille, & Defrancq, B. (2019). Disfluencies in simultaneous interpreting a corpus-based study with special reference to sex. New empirical perspectives on translation and interpreting. Presented at the Translation in Transition 3.
Vancouver
1.
Collard C, Defrancq B. Disfluencies in simultaneous interpreting a corpus-based study with special reference to sex. New empirical perspectives on translation and interpreting. 2019.
MLA
Collard, Camille, and Bart Defrancq. “Disfluencies in Simultaneous Interpreting a Corpus-based Study with Special Reference to Sex.” New Empirical Perspectives on Translation and Interpreting. 2019. Print.
@incollection{8581686,
  abstract     = {This paper reports on a study on disfluencies (filled and silent pauses, false starts and lengthenings) in simultaneous interpreting carried out on corpus data drawn from the European Parliament Interpreting Corpus Ghent (EPICG). The aim of this research project is to analyse the influence of the interpreter{\textquoteright}s sex alongside sixteen predictors in the production of disfluencies. Simultaneous interpreting is a cognitively demanding task for which interpreters often experience high cognitive load. Studies show that females seem to outperform males on verbal tasks (Herlitz et al. 1997;  Loonstra et al. 2001; Maitland et al. 2004; Hirnstein et al. 2014 inter alia) and on memory tasks (Trahan \& Quintana 1990; Kimura \& Seal 2003 inter alia). Despite these differences and the potential impact the existence or absence of sex differences could have on research and training, few interpreting studies take sex as a control variable (Cecot 2001; Mason 2008; Baes 2012; Defrancq 2013; Magnifico \& Defrancq 2016; 2017). This research project therefore attempts to determine whether sex differences have an influence on disfluencies. If women perform better at verbal tasks and need to dedicate less energy to the concurrent cognitive processes involved in simultaneous interpreting, they are less likely to be affected by cognitive load. Since disfluencies are believed to be the consequence of cognitive load, we can assume that female interpreters produce fewer disfluencies than male interpreters. The data sample consists of 180 source texts and 180 interpretations in six language pairs (from and into English, French and Dutch) and is based on a parallel acoustic aligned and time-tagged corpus. 
Results confirm the hypothesis as they show that male interpreters produce more disfluencies than female interpreters. The analyses also show that most of the predictors included in the study have a significant influence on the production of disfluencies by interpreters.
},
  author       = {Collard, Camille and Defrancq, Bart},
  booktitle    = {New empirical perspectives on translation and interpreting},
  language     = {eng},
  location     = {Ghent},
  series       = {Routledge Advances in Translation and Interpreting Studies},
  title        = {Disfluencies in simultaneous interpreting a corpus-based study with special reference to sex},
  year         = {2019},
}