Dr. Goranka Rocco visited the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures in frame of the StayConnected@HHU Programme

Dr. Goranka Rocco teaches and is doing research since 2012 in the Department of Legal, Language, Interpreting and Translation Studies at the University of Trieste, Italy as a ricercatrice und prof. aggregato for Translation. In 2003, she obtained her doctoral degree at the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures at HHU and worked here between 2003 and 2006 as a research assistant.

In frame of the StayConnected@HHU Programme of JUNO, Dr. Rocco spent a two-week research stay at the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures at HHU in June 2017.

Together with her cooperation partner Dr. Martina Nicklaus, Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures at HHU, they worked on their project "Translation of the fictive orality from a lexical, syntactic and pragmatic point of view. A corpus-based study". (They will examine simulated orality, meaning the intentional inclusion of typical spontaneous discourse in literary texts, and collect examples of it in a corpus, to be able to compare source and target language in detail and reasearch certain linguistic structures from a contrastive and translational point of view.)

Dr. Goranka Rocco, Foto: © Goranka Rocco

You have been working with the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures and Dr. Nicklaus for some years. What is the cooperation like?

Dr. Nicklaus and I have been in contact for a couple of years. I always like to come back to HHU because of the University Library. In Italy, it is really hard to find papers for my German research. She and I kept meeting there and came up with this study. Our individual research topics complement one another really well: She focuses on syntactical aspects of translation and I concentrate on lexical and variational linguistics. But we had not had the possibility to sit and work together since I work and live in Trieste. But now, thanks to this funding, it's going to happen!

What was your motivation to apply for the Researcher Alumni Programme?

We knew that we needed longer together in order to make progress with our study. Because ours is an interdisciplinary project, a Romance-German project, most of the support programmes were out of the question. Mrs. Nicklaus stumbled upon the offer of the Research Alumni Programme and it was perfect!

Could you explain a little bit about your project on simulated orality?

We have decided to study the awardees of three very important literary prizes (Strega Prize, Prix Goncourt, Georg Bücher Prize), and take a look at the winners of the past ten years and their translations in German, French and Italian, respectively. On the first phase, we will focus on the German and French translations of selected Strega Prize winners and will add parts of it to the corpus, that are interesting on the matter of simulated orality, like Antonio Pennacchi's Canale Mussolini, for example.

Our goal is to systematize all this data and to create a sustainable corpus, to be used in research and didactics, even beyond our research questions. Sadly, the corpus will not be publicly available, because of copyright issues. In the long term, it will be possible to search within the corpus for certain criteria and to take a look at the different translations of it. It is important for us to make an upgradable corpus, that can be expanded little by little with more languages and texts.

How does your study benefit from your stay at HHU?

To actually have the chance to sit and work together on a daily basis, instead of writing long e-mails back and forth, contributes greatly to our project. From my perspective, the possibilities and infrastructure for research that German scientists have here, are of great quality on an international scale: The HHU-System of interlibrary loans and the specialized libraries, make it possible to work very efficiently. And to get a sabbatical leave for two weeks gives me some distance from my teaching and institutional responsibilities and helps me to work faster and be more focused on our project.

Do you expect any specific results from your stay at HHU?

Our main goal right now is to publish a paper in an international scientific journal in Italy and present the results from the first three books. This will grant a lot of attention to our cooperation and the amazing offer from the Researcher Alumni Programme.

Are there any plans already for future cooperation with the HHU?

I am very grateful for this opportunity and would love to come back! Martina Nicklaus and I definitely need to find another opportunity to work together, since, as already said, we would like to expand this corpus and apply for a greater research project with third-party-funds. But these are wishes for the future, that we still need to work on.

Interview and translation to English by Susana Mogollón. June 2017.

Personal Details

Dr. Goranka Rocco


- Diploma Programme in French and German Language and Literature at the University of Zagreb

- Examination as a Court Interpreter and Court Translator for German, French and English at the Zagreb District Court

- Doctoral studies at HHU, oral examination in Romance and German Linguistics, Romance Literature
Doctoral Thesis:
"La Réunion: Sprachattitüden franko-kreolophoner Adoleszenten".

Publications in cooperation with the Institute for Romance Languages and Literatures at HHU:

Rocco, G.: "Schlagwörter zwischen Diskurs und Lexikon", in: Nicklaus, M. et al. (eds.), Lexeme, Phraseme ... Konstruktionen: Aktuelle Beiträge zu Lexikologie und Phraseologie, Frankfurt (Lang).

Rocco, G./Schafroth, E. (eds.): Methoden der vergleichenden Diskurslinguistik (will be published by Lang).

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