A Corpus-Based Analysis of Pauses in Chinese-English Consecutive Interpreting of Chinese English Majors

Wenxinxin Qin


This study aims to investigate pause characteristics and probe into the main reason for unnatural pauses in Chinese-English consecutive interpreting. The data were from the Parallel Corpus of Chinese EFL Learners-Spoken (PACCEL-S), which includes phonetic materials in the interpretation part of TEM-8. Forty interpreters were divided into four groups according to their scores and gender. Their recordings and transcribed texts were annotated and analyzed to provide a comprehensive overview of pausing. The findings are: (1) Pauses often occur in C-E CI. Interpreters use more UPs and unnatural pauses. (2) There is no interaction between proficiency and gender in pause duration and frequency, as well as the two indicators of unnatural pauses. (3) UP duration is affected by proficiency, and females tend to produce more FPs and unnatural pauses. (4) FP and UP invariably occur together but do not show linear correlation. (5) Interpreters tend to pause before content words, and unnatural pauses are mainly induced by notional word retrieval difficulty. By discussing pauses and explaining the leading motivation for unnatural pauses from the perspective of lexical retrieval, this study informs readers of the nature and features of pauses and provides suggestions for stakeholders.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.22158/eltls.v5n3p77


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