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Cognitive load in simultaneous interpreting

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This paper sets out to describe and graphically illustrate the amount of cognitive load generated during the simultaneous interpretation of structurally different languages based on theories developed and evidence gathered in cognitive psychology and psycholinguistics. To that end, a German verb-final and verb-initial construction are analyzed and contrasted in terms of the load they cause to an inherently capacity-limited system when interpreted simultaneously into a verb-initial language like English. A series of analytical cognitive load models are introduced providing a detailed illustration of conjectured cognitive resource allocation during simultaneous interpreting of verb-final structures.
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Keywords: attention; capacity theory; cognitive load; syntactic complexity; working memory

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2011

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  • International Journal of Research and Practice in Interpreting
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