Guilty as charged? The effect of interpreting on interviews with suspects

Russell, Sonia C. (2001). Guilty as charged? The effect of interpreting on interviews with suspects. PHD thesis, Aston University.

Abstract

The ways in which an interpreter affects the processes and, possibly, the outcomes of legal proceedings has formed the focus of much recent research, most of it centred upon courtroom discourse. However comparatively little research has been carried out into the effect of interpreting on the interview with a suspect, despite its 'upstream' position in the legal process and vital importance as evidence. As a speech event in the judicial system, the interview differs radically from that which takes place 'downstream', that is, in court. The interview with suspect represents an entirely different construct, in which a range of registers is apparent, and participants use distinctive means to achieve their institutional goals. When a transcript of an interpreter-mediated interview is read out in court, it is assumed that this is a representation of an event, which is essentially identical to a monolingual interview. This thesis challenges that assumption. Using conservation analytic techniques, it examines data from a corpus of monolingual and interpreter-mediated, taped interviews with suspects, in order to identify potentially significant interactional differences and describe ways in which the interpreter affects the processes and may affect the outcomes of the interview. It is argued that although individually, the interactional differences may appear slight, their cumulative effect is significant, particularly since the primary participants in the event are unaware of the full force of the interpreting effect. Finally, the thesis suggests that the insights provided by linguistic analysis of the interpreting on interviews may provide the basis for training, both for interpreters themselves, and for officers in techniques for interpreter-mediated interviews.

Divisions: Languages & Social Sciences
Additional Information: If you have discovered material in AURA which is unlawful e.g. breaches copyright, (either yours or that of a third party) or any other law, including but not limited to those relating to patent, trademark, confidentiality, data protection, obscenity, defamation, libel, then please read our Takedown Policy and contact the service immediately.
Institution: Aston University
Uncontrolled Keywords: effect of interpreting,interviews with suspects
Completed Date: 2001

Download

[img]

Export / Share Citation


Statistics

Additional statistics for this record