In this study I hope to show that the dynarmic perspective in text
linguistics, which has only begun its development in recent years alongside the
more widely practised and firmly established synoptic perspective, has much to
offer for a greater understanding of the mechanisms of simultaneous
interpretation and for the promotion of these mechanisms in student interpreters.
This study focuses on the importance of the syntactic structure of an oral
text in the cognitive processes underlying simultaneous interpretation.
The experimental paradigm chosen for this study was devised by the
American researcher Robert Jarvella at the beginning of the 70's. The experiments carried out by Jarvella centre on 'immediate recall' tasks,
aiming at assessing the influence of formai structures on speech processing. The
first finding of Jarvella's studies was listeners' tendency to segment the
incoming information into chunks, corresponding to the syntactic segmentation
into 'clauses' and 'sentences'.
The present experimental study has been devoted mainly to the analysis of
the cognitive mechanisms involved in the processing of numerals in the oral,
phonologic modality of expression. This has been done by means of the special
task of simultaneous interpretation from one language into another wherein,
apart from an initial phase of comprehension and a final one of production of
verbal material, there is, somewhere in between, the phase of translation of the
numeral into a language other than that of presentation.