As Professor of Unprovable Linguistics Literature, it gives me great pleasure to introduce to our distinguished readers one of the most ambitious and noteworthy theories to grace the amphitheatre that is the field of Linguistics.1 This theory, unparalleled in its persuasiveness, unequalled in its depth, unrivalled in its ability to inspire experiments that will be ignored anyway since lab work means nothing, is none other than the mighty Theory of Sense.
This theory holds that human beings
One of the many applications of this venerable theory is in interpreting, that most vulgar of activities where the meanings of the speaker, as expressed in one language are received by a capable, trained linguist, who then quickly washes the meanings clean of lexical interference, before expressing this meaning in the impure stumblings of another language. In this case the theory of sense tells us what we already knew
It is thus apparent that, rather than interpreters actually having to go through such a process as learning a language, the most skilled among them can work even without any knowledge of the original language at all. Since meaning is entirely divided from language form, it is quite unnecessary for them to pay any attention to anything but the speaker’s intended meaning. This allows the choice of interpreter to be made independent of the actual languages involved, selection instead being based on more objective categories such as delivery rate, intonation and ability to impress interviewers.
With such important applications, it is vital that such a theory be based on sound, scientific data. Of course, only certain procedures will suffice for these purposes. Laboratory-
It is my view that the continuation to the process of validating this theory must be left in the hands of the most capable of theorists. Only they are able to separate, as it were, the wheat from the chaff, ignoring extraneous and unhelpful data and creating insightful and interesting models of the processes inherent in the activity of sense-
We can thus see that this theory deserves its place as the most studied and supported theory in the literature. It is my wish that the Theory of Sense become the standard model, not only for interpreting studies but for linguistics as a whole.
2 Of course, real linguists do not concern themselves overly with what others mean but that matter is beside the point here.
3 Some misguided individuals have sought to challenge this venerable theory by publishing data which suggest that the original language is actually important, often leaving artefacts in the interpreted version or being reflected in the way the interpreter processes the incoming speech. These papers are not worth mentioning for reasons covered below.
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|Another Bunch of Things You Didn’t Know You Didn’t Know—Madalena Cruz-Ferreira|
|SpecGram Vol CLVIII, No 1 Contents|