Cognitive and Neurolinguistic Aspects of Interpreting

Halyna ONYSHCHAK, Liudmyla KOVAL, Olena VAZHENINA, Ivan BAKHOV, Roksolana POVOROZNYUK, Antonina DEVITSKA

Abstract


Over the past decade, a large and growing body of literature has explored the cognitive and neural foundations of interpreting processes. The article explores the relevance of cognitive and neurolinguistic approaches to the process of both simultaneous and consecutive interpreting.

The main objective is to reveal the interpreter’s status, his/her mental and linguistic operations as cognitive units in the approaches under review. Firstly, we discuss how both interpreting modes have been understood and defined by various researchers. Secondly, we present the overview of diverse research works on cognitive and neurolinguistic scientific approaches to interpretation, trying to understand and explain the operating of interpreters’ minds. Finally, we focus on the issues of bilingualism and its impact on language comprehension and its production.

It has been revealed that interpreting contributes significantly to improving cognitive and neural functions of the brain. Interpreters have always been a key figure in facilitating and bridging communication across cultures and languages. They can input, retain, retrieve, and output data but are limited in processing capacity at any given time. Quite recently, scholars in both interpreting and neurolinguistics have attempted to provide insight into the organization of bilingual speakers’ minds. In interpreting and translation tasks, it has been complemented by research works into language control in a bilingual language mode, with both language systems being simultaneously activated.

Taken together, the cognitive and neurolinguistic studies reviewed in the paper support strong recommendations to regard an interpreter as a conceptual mediator relying on both his/her decision-making and probability thinking mechanisms.


Keywords


interpreting; cognition; simultaneous and consecutive interpreting; mental and linguistic operations; bilingualism; language comprehension and production

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