GARCIA adolfo Martin
capítulos de libros
Interlingual reformulation as a window into the bilingual brain
The Routledge Handbook of Translation, Interpreting, and Bilingualism
Lugar: Londres; Año: 2022;
The bilingual brain has been long established as a distinct research construct. This is so, in part, because knowing more than one language1 involves neurocognitive phenomena seldom observed in monolinguals. Beyond the general capacity to produce and comprehend messages in different languages, these include language switching and mixing, interlinguistic priming and transfer, and, no less importantly, interlingual reformulation (IR), which is the focus of the present chapter.IR refers to any neurocognitive activity through which linguistic input in one language is rendered into a different language (García, 2019). The term subsumes diverse modalities, including those that involve either written input (e.g., written and sight translation), oral input (e.g., simultaneous and consecutive interpreting), or signed input (e.g., sign language interpreting). Despite their major differences, all IR modalities share three core, overlapping processing stages, namely: source-language reception and comprehension, cross-linguistic reformulation, and target-language production. Of note, although professional IR practice requires field-specific training, the capacity to engage in these three processes, albeit rudimentarily, is a concomitant of bilingualism (Malakoff, 1992).In this sense, bilingualism represents “the substrate for considering all manifestations of translation ability” (Shreve, 2012, p. 2). Unsurprisingly, thorough understanding of the inner workings of IR benefits from cognitive (Schwieter & Ferreira, 2017) and neurological (García, 2019) insights on such a precondition. Less obviously, and perhaps more interestingly, the opposite is also true: current knowledge about bilingual neurocognitive systems is crucially informed by the study of IR (García, 2015a).Indeed, foundational bilingual memory research consisted in comparisons between single-language processing and forward translation (FT, from L1 to L2) (Potter et al., 1984) as well as between FT and backward translation (BT, from L2 to L1) (Kroll & Stewart, 1994), giving rise to highly influential psycholinguistic models –for reviews, see García (2015a) and Kroll et al. (2010). Also, relevant findings stemmed from the observation of 3 translation disorders in brain-lesioned bilinguals (García, 2015b; Paradis, 1984), constraining classical (Fabbro, 1999) and contemporary (García, 2019) neuroanatomical accounts. Moreover, neuroscientific translation research has helped revealing how different linguistic and non-linguistic mechanisms in the bilingual brain are recruited depending on stimulus-related (Christoffels et al., 2013), task-dependent (Zheng et al., 2020), and subject-level (Dottori et al., 2020) factors. Briefly, neurocognitive insights on bilingualism have progressed hand in hand with those on IR.Such milestones were reached thanks to a rich, expanding toolkit (García & Muñoz, 2020). First, behavioral IR measures capture efficacy and efficiency during task performance through quantifications of accuracy and response time, respectively. Though blind to neural substrates per se, these measures support inferences about the strength of the underlying connections and the overall cognitive effort required by specific processing conditions (e.g., García et al., 2014). Second, neuropsychological studies on brain-damaged bilinguals can reveal which brain regions are critically involved in a process of interest. This is achieved by observing that a patient with partly circumscribed brain damage (e.g., along frontostriatal networks) manifests selective behavioral deficits in a given task (e.g., BT as compared to FT) (Fabbro & Paradis, 1995). Third, neuroscientific methods offer in vivo insights on brain activity during translation (García, 2013). Hemodynamic methods (e.g., functional magnetic resonance imaging [fMRI], positron emission tomography [PET], functional near-infrared spectroscopy [fNIRS]) capture changes in regional blood flow and metabolic demands, revealing which brain areas are more actively engaged during the task at hand (e.g., Zheng et al., 2020). Electrophysiological methods (e.g., event-related potentials [ERPs], oscillatory measures, functional connectivity) tap on task-dependent electrical modulations recorded from scalp-level electrodes (or, more rarely, intracranial 4 electrodes), evincing their fine grained temporal dynamics (e.g., Christoffels et al., 2013). Additional insights come from off-line structural imaging (e.g., structural MRI) and noninvasive brain stimulation (e.g., transcranial direct current stimulation [tDCS]). These techniques have been harnessed, for instance, to reveal neuroanatomical adaptations underlying IR expertise (Becker et al., 2016) and the critical role of specific regions in the translation of different word types (e.g., Liuzzi et al., 2010), respectively. Beyond the milestones above, these tools have been leveraged in IR research to characterize numerous aspects of the bilingual brain. A first line of work has profited from IR experiments to illuminate the neurofunctional organization of bilingual linguistic systems. Another set of IR studies have proven crucial to understand cross-linguistic asymmetries during word processing in bilinguals. Also, research on covert IR has revealed the ubiquity of language co-activation in this population. Moreover, IR tasks have shed light on the mechanisms underlying foreign-language word learning in adulthood. Finally, research on individuals with sustained IR training has afforded a profitable window into the plasticity of the bilingual brain. The following sections summarize key findings on these topics, highlighting their implications for the field of bilingualism at large.