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June 5, 2005

Next round of questions - Strasbourg Week 2

These are the questions which previous interviews suggest. They may yield empirical evidence for the kinds of issues raised by Blommaert about mobility, resources, indexicality, pretextualization, and entextualization (or variations thereof):

1. Where – which settings/contexts – do you interpret the most?
2. Which do you like the least/most?
3. Which are most/least challenging and how does this correlate with your enjoyment of the work?

Delegates’ use of language:
4. Statements said – empirical
5. Discontinuities – gaps, disjunctures, breakdowns
6. Aims (engagement here vs media coverage at home)
a. Intended
b. Actual
7. Changes over time?
a. past
b. present
c. what is missing/what do you miss (in interlocutors’ language production)
8. Changes because of context?
a. Groups
b. Committees
c. Plenaries
d. Missions
e. Audience
9. Evidence of inequality
a. choice (freedom, free will)
b. constraints (system, context, role…)
c. place, space, role of creativity? (MEPs, delegates, officials…)
d. accepted, embraced or rejected, denied?
e. Ways of speaking that counter the institution’s norms? [hidden transcripts]
f. Range of stances – affect, epistemic, (88) [“rational”, “emotive”]
10. Orientations to (production of) knowledge
11. “Iconicity” – expectations/models delegates etc are “supposed” to meet/satisfy
12. What consequences when expectations/models are not met?

Interpreters’ parameters:
13. Choice – omissions, inclusions, creatitivity
14. Variables (type of meeting, personality of speaker, sentiment in the booth/among the team…)
15. Range of stances – clues, latitude to adjust (e.g., toward perception of intended aims)
16. Techniques – patterns in your interpretations (features, style…)
17. Regime(s)
18. Interpreting as pivot, how does this affect/influence your production? (What would it be like if interlocutors considered the interpreter as part of their audience?)

In sum:

19. When is linguistic difference difference, and when is it inequality?

20. How does language actually work here (EP)? What does it do (function)? What does it accomplish (effectivity, efficacy)?

21. How much influence does the language regime at Parliament have on
a. other EU institutions?
b. notion of “Europe”; identifying as “European”?

It may also be of interest to ask interpreters to read and think out loud about this statement by Blommaert:

“The functions of which particular ways of speaking will perform, and the functions of the particular linguistic resources by means of which they are accomplished, become less and less a matter of surface inspection in terms of commonsense linguistic categories (e.g., ‘is this English?’), and some of the biggest errors (and injustices) may be committed by simply projecting locally valid functions onto the ways of speaking of people who are involved in transnational flows” (72).

Posted by Steph at June 5, 2005 7:05 AM

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Steph, you really have read it microscopically, haven't you? I'm most flattered.

Posted by: Jan Blommaert at June 13, 2005 7:35 AM

Well, there's always the challenge of actually applying it then, isn't there?! ;-)

Posted by: steph at June 13, 2005 2:25 PM

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