Non-fluency and language-pair specificity in Chinese-English consecutive interpreting: A corpus-driven study

Keywords: non-fluency, language-pair specificity, consecutive interpreting, Chinese-English interpreting


Language-pair specificity, which refers to linguistic and cultural differences between the language pair, has been hypothesized as one of the variables shaping the interpreting performance and product. The current study adopts a corpus-driven paralinguistic approach to testifying the language-pair specificity hypothesis. The corpus is a bilingual parallel corpus of Chinese-English Interpreting for Premier Press Conferences, which consists of 200,000 words/characters in total. The original and interpreted discourses are aligned at the sentential level and annotated at linguistic, paralinguistic and extra-linguistic levels. The paralinguistic analysis focuses on non-fluency, specifically the different types of pauses and self-repairs. It is found that a majority of non-fluencies in the interpreted utterances are syntax-driven, which means that most of the pauses and self-repairs in Chinese-English interpreting are related to syntactical structures in the original speeches. The finding implies that language-pair specificity should be considered as an important variable in research and training of interpreting between syntactically-contrastive languages.


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Author Biographies

Bing Zou, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies

Bing Zou is a full-time lecturer at School of Interpreting and Translation Studies and a research fellow in the Center for Translation Studies at Guangdong University of Foreign Studies. His research interests include corpus-based translation and interpreting studies, and language and translation education research.

Binhua Wang, University of Leeds

Binhua Wang is Chair/Professor of interpreting and translation studies at University of Leeds in the UK. He is Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Linguists (CIoL). His research interests include interpreting and translation studies, intercultural communication studies and language education studies, in which he has published over 70 articles in refereed CSSCI and SSCI/A&HCI journals and in edited volumes published by Routledge, John Benjamins, Springer, Brill and Palgrave. His recent research has appeared in Babel, Perspectives, Language and Intercultural Communication, Translation Spaces, Translation Review, Chinese Translators Journal and in Routledge Handbook of Conference Interpreting and Routledge Handbook of Chinese Discourse Analysis. He has authored the monographs Theorising Interpreting Studies (2019) and A Descriptive Study of Norms in Interpreting (2013) and edited with Jeremy Munday Advances in Discourse Analysis of Translation and Interpreting (Routledge).

He serves as co-editor of Interpreting and Society: An Interdisciplinary Journal, chief editor of Int’l Journal of Chinese and English Translation & Interpreting and on the editorial boards of Babel, ITT, Forum, Foreign Language Teaching & Research (外语教学与研究), Chinese Translators Journal (中国翻译) and Translation Quarterly (翻译季刊).


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How to Cite
Zou, B., & Wang, B. (2023). Non-fluency and language-pair specificity in Chinese-English consecutive interpreting: A corpus-driven study. Research in Corpus Linguistics, 11(2), 30-49.