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Sign Language Studies

American Annals of the Deaf

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From Topic Boundaries to Omission: New Research on Interpretation
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chart 6.2


4 8 12 16 20 24 28 32


photo 6.24a





photo 6.24b



p a u s i n g   i n   t h e   s o u r c e   t e x t

The presenter, in chunking her utterances and topics, generally relied less on pausing and more on intonation and lengthening of final syllables for stress and chunking. The source text contained no extralinguistic pauses because it had a formal and rehearsed nature.

p a u s i n g   i n   t h e   t a r g e t   t e x t s

The data show a significant difference in the pausing that occurs in the interpreted texts and the transliterated texts. This study makes no claims about the appropriateness of these differences. Because these texts were produced by qualified interpreters and transliterators, we make the assumption that these differences are common for interpreters and transliterators. Future research must include the study of consumers’ perspectives as well as studies of many more interpreters and transliterators. This research is only a preliminary study in which we have found some interesting tendencies that bear further investigation.

p a u s e s   i n   t h e   t a r g e t   i n t e r p r e t a t i o n s

We investigated in detail one striking type of pause that occurred frequently and regularly in all three interpretations—the extralinguistic pause. Although no extralinguistic pauses occurred in the source, each of the three interpretations had clear patterns of extralinguistic pausing. Each interpreter used a form of hand clasping at the chest or abdomen area, with a stopping of movement, some type of head nod preceding the pause, and often, a type of eye gaze that we have labeled “thinking.”

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