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Title: A study of the use of discourse particles in English-to-Chinese simultaneous interpreting by trainee interpreters
Author: Wang, Dawei
ISNI:       0000 0004 6423 7357
Awarding Body: Newcastle University
Current Institution: University of Newcastle upon Tyne
Date of Award: 2016
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Discourse particles are known to be of significance to discourse management and organization. Much work has been devoted to understanding the use of discourse particles in Chinese spontaneous speech (SP). However, in the field of simultaneous interpreting (SI), they have remained under-researched. This thesis sets out to fill this gap and to investigate differences in particle usage between Chinese SP and English-to-Chinese SI. Literature on discourse markers, pragmatics, information processing, and interpreting studies is reviewed with an attempt to provide a holistic view of the research framework of the present study. A pilot study was first carried out to find any different tendencies in the use of discourse particles between SP and SI. The main subject population was interpreting students at Newcastle University. In my mixed-method approach of the main study, data was collected and analyzed through on-line parser, interviews, a mock-conference, and questionnaire surveys. Both the frequency count and the qualitative analyses were carried out to explore the reasons behind the different tendencies in use initially found, and the effects of using the surveyed discourse particles for perceived fluency in Chinese SP and English-to-Chinese SI for comparison. The findings show that the most frequently utilized type of discourse particles in Chinese SP are conjunction particles (e.g. Ranhou), whereas in English-to-Chinese SI, they are quantifier particles (e.g. Na). The discourse functions of the surveyed particles are very context-sensitive. These findings are generally in line with previously reported findings about particle usage in SP, and the present study is the first empirical study to report particle usage in SI. As regards the perceived effects, the overall fluency rating of sentences in which surveyed particles were identified is higher in SI than in SP perceived by all listeners from two different backgrounds (i.e. interpreting vs. non-interpreting students). Implications of the present study for interpreting studies and discourse analysis, followed by suggestions for possible future research, are discussed.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available