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Title: Achieving understanding via interpreter participation in sign language/English map task dialogues : an analysis of repair sequences involving ambiguity and underspecificity in signed and spoken modes
Author: Crawley, Victoria Louise
ISNI:       0000 0004 5990 2818
Awarding Body: University of Leeds
Current Institution: University of Leeds
Date of Award: 2016
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Research into the role of the interpreter in dialogue interpreting has so far established that the interpreter participates in the interaction just as much as the two primary participants,particularly in the area of turn-taking. Less has been written about the nature of participation by the interpreter when interpreting. This thesis has contributed to knowledge through research into the extent and the manner of participation by the interpreter when there are problems due to seeing/hearing, producing or understanding: “repair” (Schegloff , Sacks and Jefferson 1977). Using an established tool (a Map Task) in order to distract participants from their language use, the actions of the interpreter were examined through a Conversation Analysis lens, to observe what it is that interpreters do in these situations of uncertainty. The findings were that the participation by interpreters, often described by practitioners as “clarifying”, was due, for the most part, to what I have defined as “ambiguity” and “underspecificity”. The interpreter must change stance from “other” to “self”. I have considered this action, positing a model Stop – Account – Act, and also the responses from the participants when the interpreter changes from “other” to “self” and back, using those responses to show whether the clients understand the interpreter’s change of stance. It is already known that understanding is collaboratively achieved in interpreted interactions just as it is in monolingual conversations. My contribution to interpreting studies is to strengthen this understanding by empirical research. Interlocutors do not present an absolute meaning in one language which is then reframed in another language; meanings are differentiated between collaboratively through further talk. I show that an interpreter is tightly constrained in their participation, and that their overriding job of interpreting dictates the reasons for their participation. The interpreter seeks not “what does that mean?” but rather “what do you mean?”.
Supervisor: Merrison, Andrew J. ; O'Brien, Dai ; Turner, Graham H. Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available