An empirical study into categorisation and cause of omission in simultaneous interpreting

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An empirical study into categorisation and cause of omission in simultaneous interpreting

 

Author: Li, Jing
Title: An empirical study into categorisation and cause of omission in simultaneous interpreting
Degree: M.Phil.
Year: 2013
Subject: Simultaneous interpreting
Hong Kong Polytechnic University -- Dissertations
Department: Dept. of Chinese and Bilingual Studies
Pages: xii, 182 leaves : ill. ; 30 cm.
InnoPac Record: http://library.polyu.edu.hk/record=b2639097
URI: http://theses.lib.polyu.edu.hk/handle/200/7077
Abstract: This thesis is an empirical attempt to make contributions to the study of omission in simultaneous interpreting (SI) by focusing on omission categorisation and its causes. Omission in SI is a phenomenon with high frequency and has been approached by different scholars from different standpoints. However most of them belong to the traditional and predictive approach, and lack theoretical and systematic explanations of causes and categorisation respectively. The thesis focuses on omissions in SI through observational research. It applies interdisciplinary theories, ranging from translation and interpreting theories and linguistics to communication, to provide a broader vision in the study of interpreting. Methodologically, a multiple-method approach is used to study omissions, involving a new integrated model based on the theories and models mentioned in the above disciplines. Three levels of analysis are involved: statistical analysis, discourse analysis, and self-reflexivity with a logical direction from the general to the subtle and from the external to the internal. The findings show that, based on the theory of SFG, omissions can be categorized on two levels, those of structure and meaning. On the level of structure, omissions can be categorized into clause omission and below-clause omission; while on the level of meaning, each clause omission and below-clause omission can be categorized into ideational omission, interpersonal omission or textual omission. This categorisation is different from the previous or traditional omission categorisations, which put omission either into the category of error or into the category of strategy. As for the causes of omission, the analytical results show that familiarity with the speech text reduces the number of omissions on the clause level, resulting in an increase of meaning units in the interpreted text. In addition, familiarity with the speech has an obvious influence on the reduction of ideational clause omission, which means that the ideational meaning unit may account for the most important part of the meaning unit as interpreted. Familiarity includes familiarity with sentence structure, the idiomatic expression, vocabulary, speaker's pronunciation, speech style, as well as the social and cultural background. Apart from familiarity, the interpreter's personality, involving such factors as impatience and hesitation, is also an important influencing factor in omission in SI, which is overlooked in previous research.

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