Cooperation in interpreter-mediated monologic talk

Jemina Napier*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)


Discourse-based interpreting research has determined that interpreters are participants within interaction. Grice (1975) established that conversation participants conform to a cooperative principle. With respect to interpreting, what is the cooperative principle? How do sign language interpreters and deaf people work together to negotiate meaning in interpretation? The aim of this article is to present a case study of a deaf presenter and two sign language interpreters and evidence of their strategies for cooperation in interpreter-mediated monologic talk. Drawing on a framework of interactional sociolinguistics, naturalistic data from a seminar presentation was analysed, focusing on the use of pauses, nods and eye contact as contextualization cues in the interpreter-mediated event. It was found that these three participants used these cues deliberately and strategically for signalling comprehension, marking episodes, clarification and controlling the pace of the presentation; drawing on their frames of reference. Thus, the data suggest that the cooperative principle of interpreting involves the establishment of particular cues for communication.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)407-432
Number of pages26
JournalDiscourse and Communication
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Nov 2007


  • cooperative principle
  • interpreter-mediated communication cooperation
  • monologic talk
  • negotiation
  • sign language


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