Published: 05 February 2024

Video: Dr Fabio Alves - Mapping translation as a cognitive activity from a relevance-theoretic perspective

Watch the full video recording of the lecture Mapping translation as a cognitive activity from a relevance-theoretic perspective, by Dr Fabio Alves. The lecture was delivered on 29th January 2024 as part of the Convergence lecture series promoted by the Centre for Translation Studies, University of Surrey.

Title: Mapping translation as a cognitive activity from a relevance-theoretic perspective 

Abstract: The study of translation as a cognitive activity has seen a striking methodological progress from the sole use of think-aloud protocols in the 1980s, over the use of keylogging and eye tracking in the 1990s and 2000s, to neurophysiological studies in recent years (Alves & Hurtado, 2017). However, from a theoretical perspective, the study of translation as a cognitive activity has not progressed at a similar pace. Divided into three parts, this talk puts forward the need for a consistent theoretical framework to ground cognitive translation studies in a situated, distributed, and extended framework (Alves & Jakobsen, 2021). 

Building on Gutt (1991/2000)’s application of Relevance Theory (Sperber & Wilson, 1986/1995) to translation studies and his plea for competence-oriented research of translation (CORT), part 1 addresses key relevance-theoretic concepts. 

Part 2 provides illustrative examples of relevance-theoretic empirical studies, focusing on the relationship between processing effort and cognitive effect (Alves & Gonçalves, 2003; Alves, 2007), on the impact of conceptual, procedural and hybrid encodings during the translation process (Alves & Gonçalves, 2013), on a framework for post-editing machine translation output (Carl & Schaeffer, 2019) and on attempts to locate translation-related activity in the human brain (Szpak et al., 2021). 

Part 3 draws on the above-mentioned works and shows how the relevance-theoretic framework can contribute to the formulation of an empirical theory of translation that is grounded in empirical evidence.

Short bio: Fabio Alves holds a PhD in Applied Linguistics with a focus on translation process research from Ruhr-Universität Bochum in Germany. He is Full Professor of Translation Studies at Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais (UFMG) and a Senior Research Fellow of the Brazilian National Research Council (CNPq)l. Fabio Alves has published widely about translation process research and expertise in translation in journals such as Target, Meta, Across Languages and Cultures, and Translation and Interpreting, as well as in book series by John Benjamins, Routledge and Springer. He serves on the editorial board of Target and Translation, Cognition & Behavior. 

This event took place online on Monday 29th January 2024, 2:00 pm GMT.

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