Volume 9, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1384-6647
  • E-ISSN: 1569-982X
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This paper investigates the way intonation can contribute to the organisation of source texts (ST) and target texts (TT) in simultaneous interpreting (SI). The research method and results offer a broader perspective on the use of intonation in SI, a parameter often viewed in the literature as anomalous and genre-specific. The empirical analysis focuses on the structural organisation of ST and TT into phonological paragraphs, a process which is achieved, in part, through intonational choices both of the speakers and of the interpreters. A corpus-based study of fifteen ST and the corresponding TT produced in the European Parliament and European Commission was conducted using an acoustic methodology with discoursal support. The results indicate that both speakers and interpreters comply with the intonational pattern described in the literature, i.e. high pitch at initial paragraph boundaries and low pitch at final boundaries. These findings should be relevant for future research on intonation in the field of interpreting, intonation being a factor that seems to affect both the interpreter’s perception of the ST and, ultimately, the listeners’ reception of the TT.


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