Bilingualism: Language and Cognition

Research Article

Coordinating comprehension and production in simultaneous interpreters: Evidence from the Articulatory Suppression Effect*


a1 University of Granada, Spain


This study aimed to investigate the capacity of coordinating comprehension and production processes and the role of phonological working memory in simultaneous interpreting. To this end we evaluated the Articulatory Suppression (AS) effect in three groups of participants, monolingual controls, students of interpreting and professional interpreters. Three variables were examined, the material to be studied (words, pseudo-words), the complexity of the articulations (simple, complex) and the articulatory rate (participants produced their speech at their own rate). Monolingual controls showed AS effect in all study conditions; students of interpreting showed AS effect in complex study conditions and professional interpreters showed AS effect only when they studied pseudo-words and produced complex articulations. These results suggest that coordinating comprehension and production processes in interpreters is mediated by the retrieval of lexical–semantic information and the distribution of the speech.

(Received September 22 2010)

(Revised February 19 2011)

(Accepted March 07 2011)

(Online publication August 24 2011)


c1 Address for correspondence: Pedro Macizo, Departamento de Psicología Experimental y Fisiología del Comportamiento, Facultad de Psicología, Universidad de Granada, Campus de Cartuja, s/n. 18071, Granada, SPAIN


* This research was supported by a doctoral research Grant to Carolina Yudes. SEJ2005-00842, by the research program “Ramón y Cajal”; and grant PSI2009-11094/PSI to Pedro Macizo, and by research grants EDU2008-01111 to Teresa Bajo and CSD2008-00048 Consolider Ingenio 2010; Proyecto de Excelencia de la JA-2007 and JA-2008_HUM 360 to T. B. and P. M.