Research & Scholarly Achievement
at Gallaudet University

Does Extralinguistic Knowledge Really Matter?: An examination of the impact of interpreters' personal and professional experienc

ID: 3540
Status: Ongoing
Start date: July 2017
End Date: September 2019


A person’s past experiences, education, and work make up extralinguistic knowledge; thus, everyone has different extralinguistic knowledge (Gile, 1995). This proposed quasi-experimental study seeks to add to our understanding related to an overarching question: To what extent do personal and professional experiences impact interpretation? I will recruit two Deaf interpreters with similar qualifications, except for one variable: one will have personal and professional experience with cancer while one does not. They will translate a cancer text from written English into ASL. Their translation products will be compared with an ASL narrative product created by a Deaf medical professional working in oncology. The translation and narrative products will be analyzed using Filmore’s frame-semantic model. The Deaf interpreters’ self-reflections of their own target texts and insights from focus groups consisting of Deaf patients and survivors will provide the data for analysis using Thornberg's (2012) Informed Grounded Theory.

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