The interpreter as a sequential coordinator in courtroom interaction
‘Chunking’ and the management of turn shifts in extended answers in consecutively interpreted asylum hearings with remote participants
We present here an ethnographic study of asylum court interpreting with remote participants and video links. First, we describe the multimodal resources interpreters have at their disposal to manage turn-taking and begin interpreting while an asylum seeker’s answer to a question has not come yet to a recognizable completion point. We distinguish between ‘implicit’ configurations, in which a collaborative turn transition is apparently achieved through reorientations of body and gaze, the use of discourse markers, or other conversational strategies, like overlaps and cases where a turn transition is achieved through the use of ‘explicit’ resources such as instructions to stop and requests to give brief answers. We show that the collaborative production of such long answers is affected by the remote placement of the interpreter, and that recurrent trouble in the management of turn transitions between the asylum seeker and the interpreter during extended narratives may be detrimental to the asylum seeker’s case.
Keywords: courtroom interaction, asylum, consecutive interpreting, turn-taking, chunking
Published online: 10 April 2020
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Cited by 1 other publications
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