Terry JanzenFrom Pragmatics through Intersubjectivity to Semantics: How Interpreting Researchers Understand what Interpreters Do
In this talk we attempt to link a cognitive linguistic view of language, and in particular the semantics-pragmatics interface, to the interpreter theorist's view of the interpreting task. To accomplish this, we must view all language use and language choices through the lens of intersubjectivity, that is, the inherently subjective ways we prompt, assess, and respond to each other's utterances. Interpreters, however, often claim some exemption from this stance for themselves, preferring instead to see themselves as having, and perhaps even seeking, some degree of neutrality. Here I first argue that an objective stance on the part of the interpreter is untenable, and that the start point for interpreters should be that their participation in interpreting interactions is inescapably subjective, and that they too develop intersubjective relationships in these interactions. From here we can explore the resources the interpreter has from which to construct texts that well represent those of the discourse participants she interprets for. One of these resources is word and construction meaning-something always thought critical for interpreters' work. But if meaning is not bound to words, and is instead entirely contained in the (subjective) mind of the communicator, as cognitive linguistics suggests, how does the interpreter hope to portray a speaker's/signer's message in a way that they intend? I argue secondly that interpreting researchers' theories of language greatly impact the way they view the interpreter's task, and the texts she produces. This plays out at a 'local' level in terms of how the grammars of languages are viewed and understood, but also in the researcher's beliefs about what language is and what it does. Finally, we return to the relationship between semantics and pragmatics, and the primary role that pragmatics plays in discourse, and how this approach helps us better understand the interpreter's task. Keynote Speaker Bio
- Dr. Terry Janzen is Associate Professor of linguistics at the University of Manitoba. He is currently on sabbatical leave from his position as department head, Department of Linguistics, to which he will be returning in July 2014. Terry has research interests in both cognitive-functional aspects of linguistics and interpretation. His linguistic research focuses on the relationship between ASL discourse structure and grammar: the complexity of verb structures including how perspective is marked in clauses and how signers switch perspectives; topic-marking and topicality issues in ASL discourse; and the evolution of grammar in signed languages over time. Regarding interpreting, Terry is interested in cognitive aspects of the interpretation process, in particular the intersubjective relationships that exist among discourse participants in interpreted events, and the interpreter’s own participation in the intersubjectivity of discourse. On this topic, he has published several articles with Barbara Shaffer, and they are currently writing a book that explores the interpreter’s intersubjective stance in detail. Terry is also editor of the widely used textbook Topics in Signed Language Interpreting: Theory and Practice. Terry has been an ASL-English interpreter for over 30 years. He served for 10 years on the Association of Visual Language Interpreters of Canada (AVLIC) Board of Directors, and led the establishment of AVLIC certification for ASL-English interpreters in Canada.
Deaf Perspectives in Interpretation Research: A Long Overdue Critical Element
Deaf perspectives are greatly lacking in signed language interpretation research. Among themselves, Deaf people share their experiences with interpretation, including being uninformed about the decision-making process surrounding the communication, feeling powerless with the delivery of interpreting services, and lacking influence in how interpretation is taught. Further, Deaf interpreters are often expected to work within an interpreting frame that is contrary to how Deaf people have effectively interpreted for one another for years (Forestal, 2011). To date, documenting Deaf perspectives and incorporating them in research has been rare. In this talk, I argue that inclusion of viewpoints from the Deaf community should play a critical role in qualitative research studies as these ways of seeing contribute towards a "transformative paradigm" (Mertens, 2004). I claim that it is both critical and ethical to include Deaf people's views in each step of interpretation research, including determining the research question, selecting participants, collecting data, and analyzing results. Examples of how inclusion of perspectives from members of the Deaf community, Deaf interpreters, Deaf consumers, and Deaf professionals can be accomplished will be discussed. References
Forestal, E. M. (2011). Deaf interpreters: Exploring their processes of interpretation (Unpublished doctoral dissertation). Capella University: Minneapolis.
Mertens, D. M.,
McLaughlin, J. (2004). Research and evaluation methods in special education
. Thousand Oaks, CA: Corwin PressKeynote Speaker Bio
- Eileen Forestal,Ph.D., RSC, has been Coordinator and Professor of ASL/Deaf Studies and ASL-English Interpreting Programs at Union County College in Cranford, NJ for 33 years. She has recently joined as an adjunct the Master's Program in Interpreter Pedagogy at University of Northern Florida. She earned her Ph.D. with a specialization in Postsecondary Education and Adult Learning from Capella University. Her dissertation was titled, "Deaf Interpreters: Exploring their Processes of interpreting." She has been a certified Deaf interpreter with RID since 1979. A nationwide educator and consultant on ASL, Deaf interpreters, and interpreting topics, Eileen is a member of the National Consortium of Interpreter Education Centers' Deaf Interpreter Work Team since 2006. She was also a member of the think tank on "Conceptualizing a Framework for Specialization in ASL-English Interpreting: A Report of Project Findings and Recommendations" under the auspices of NCIEC's Mid-Atlantic Regional Interpreter Education Center in 2010. Her topics of workshops and presentations include ASL Discourse, Discourse Genres: Who's Explaining, Who's Arguing?, ASL Prosody, Processes of Interpreting for Deaf Interpreters, Ethical Considerations and Challenges for Deaf Interpreters, Partnership and Collaboration with Deaf-Hearing Teams, The Messiah Trap: Is it hurting you as an Interpreter?, Understanding the Demand-Control Schema for Deaf interpreters, etc. Eileen's presentations at national and regional conferences include the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf, Conference of Interpreter Trainers, and the Institute of Legal Interpreting. Her publications include "Emerging Professionals: Deaf Interpreters and Their Views and Experiences on Training" in Interpreting and Interpreter Education: Directions for Research and Practice, Oxford University (2005), co-authored "Teaching and Learning Using the Demand Control Schema" (Proceedings of RID pre-conference meeting, 2008). She also co-authored and co-directed a production, Deaf Interpreting: Team Strategies, [DVD] (Gallaudet University, 2006) and Deaf Interpreting: Team Strategies for Interpreting in a Mental Health Setting [DVD] (Gallaudet University, 2012).
"Tell the Truth and Shame the Devil" : Considering Epistemological and Intersectional Approaches in Interpreting Education and Practice
While interpreting studies is accepted as an inter-cultural activity occurring across disciplinary boundaries, a surprisingly small amount of published empirical work is shaped by a multidisciplinary framework or carried out by multidisciplinary teams. This presentation explores this issue, evaluating how the epistemic approaches - the fundamental "truths" - informing our own and other disciplines can challenge our understanding of how interpreting practice unfolds in specific contexts. We also draw on feminist sociological theory by considering the concept of "insectionality" (e.g. Crenshaw 1989, Collins 2008) as a mechanism for thinking about and investigating interpreting interaction. We will consider some examples of multidisciplinary research and explore elements of how intersectional thinking might help shape new epistemic "truths" that may facilitate shifts in how multidisciplinary teams which include sign language interpreters think, and potentially allow for a more rigorous assessment of what happens - and what could happen - in contexts mediated by interpreters in their daily practice.
Collins, Patricia Hill (2008) Black Feminist Thought: Knowledge, Consciousness, and the Politics of Empowerment. Routeledge.
Crenshaw, Kimberlé W. (1989) Demarginalizing the Intersection of Race and Sex: A Black Feminist Critique of Antidiscrimination Doctrine, Feminist Theory and Antiracist Politics, 1989 University of Chicago Legal Forum
139-67 (1989). Reprinted in The Politics of Law: A Progressive Critique 195-217
(2nd ed., edited by David Kairys, Pantheon, 1990).
Keynote Speaker Bio
- Dr. Lorraine Leeson is Director of the Centre for Deaf Studies at Trinity College Dublin (University of Dublin) and Ireland's first Professor of Deaf Studies. She has published widely on aspects of the linguistics and sociolinguistics of Irish Sign Language and in the area of signed language interpreting. She has engaged in pan-European research work with academic institutions, Deaf communities and interpreting organisations for over two decades and is currently engaged on a project concerned with Deaf people's access to justice across several EU Member States (Justisigns). She is also the coordinator of the European Centre for Modern Languages (ECML's) first project focusing on signed languages - PRO-Signs - a project that looks at curricula and assessment expectations when teaching signed languages for professional purposes with collaboration from over 30 countries across Europe. In 2008, she was named a European Language Ambassador for her work on signed languages. Lorraine is Chair of the European Forum of Sign Language Interpreters Committee of Experts and in 2013-14 she is based in the USA as the "Julian and Virginia Cornell Distinguished Visiting Professor" at Swarthmore College, Pennsylvania. She is currently very happy to be (finally) working on a volume with her friend and colleague, Jemina Napier, due in 2014.