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Title: Courtroom interpretation from Dholuo to English : a stylistic and pragmatic analysis
Author: Owiti, Beatrice
ISNI:       0000 0004 5993 991X
Awarding Body: University of Huddersfield
Current Institution: University of Huddersfield
Date of Award: 2016
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Earlier studies on interpretation such as Garcés (1996) and Hale (2004) show that interpreters often make the mistake of conveying only the semantic meaning; ignoring, misunderstanding or simply not conveying the pragmatic meaning of utterances. Other studies have also touched on issues of the classification of the types of errors made during interpretation Mead (1985), Karton (2008) and Kiguru (2008); they do not, however, provide a good understanding of errors that lead to stylistic and pragmatic modifications in interpretation from and to indigenous African languages. Research on interpretation in Kenyan courts is limited and there is none that examines Dholuo-English interpretations. Consequently, there is a need to have a broad and deep understanding of the stylistic and pragmatic meaning of modifications involving Dholuo-English data. The literature reviewed includes literature on courtroom interpreting and literature on meaning shifts in the courtroom. This study investigates courtroom interpretation using critical stylistic tools to determine the stylistic and pragmatic changes and their impact on ideation and interpersonal communication in the Target Text. The critical stylistic tools used from Jeffries (2010) are: presenting other people’s speech and thoughts, presenting actions and state, as well as naming and describing. In the data analysis, for presenting the speech of others, I use the reported speech categories by Short (2012) to examine fidelity to the text, for the description of actions and states I ground my work in the transitivity model by Halliday as explained by Simpson (1993) and for naming and description I use Halliday’s Functional Grammar to describe the Noun group. For analysis of pragmatic modifications during interpretation, the research is grounded in Austin’s (1962) Speech Act Theory and Grice’s (1975) Cooperative Principle. The data analysed consists of 12 court cases. The data collected is analysed using qualitative methods of analysis in order to determine inferences, give explanations and make conclusions. The results show changes in the Target Text which include: modifications to adhere to felicity conditions, passivisation to conform to how Dholuo reports speech from senior people, misreporting while using direct speech, distortion of facts, expansion of meaning, vagueness, changes to the verb processes, use of explanations, use of euphemisms that obscure meaning, changes in the tone of the source text and changes in the pre and post modifications of nouns that cause meaning loss. Reasons for these changes are: culturally bound words and phrases, legal jargon which has no Dholuo equivalents, specialised Kenyan English vocabulary, the nature of courtroom interpretation, the additional duties courtroom interpreters in Kenya carry out, as well as lack of training. This research uncovered a new role for interpreters in the courtroom of striving to maintain the dignity of the court as well as a new feature of adherence to felicity conditions in judgements.
Supervisor: Jeffries, Lesley ; Kadar, Daniel Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: P Philology. Linguistics