Role-Space: Understanding the Interpreter's Place in Interactions

This talk will outline the theory of role-space as developed by Llewellyn-Jones and Lee (2013, 2014). The core premise of the theory is that a role is not something we have, rather is it something we do.   Drawing upon research from sociology, conversational analysis, sociolinguistics as well as interpreting studies, the theory delineates the dimensions along which interpreters make decisions in order to allow participants to have a successful interaction.  Role-space is constructed of three inter-related axes: interaction management, participant alignment and presentation of self.  Examples from the interpreting studies literature as well as from interpreting practice will be discussed and explored. In addition, implications for training, codes of conduct, and remote interpreting will be addressed.

Llewellyn-Jones, P. and Lee, R.G. (2013) Getting to the Core of Role: Defining Interpreters' Role Space. International Journal of Interpreter Education, 5 (2). pp. 54-72.

Llewellyn-Jones, P. and Lee, R.G.  (2014) Redefining the Role of Community Interpreters:  The Concept of Role-Space, SLI Ltd. Publishing, UK

Robert G. Lee has been interpreting, teaching and researching for more than 30 years. He is a Certified American Sign Language/English interpreter and also has British Sign Language (BSL) as an active working language. He has done extensive postgraduate study in Linguistics (specifically theoretical syntax).

Robert is currently Senior Lecturer in BSL & Deaf Studies as well as the Course Leader for the MA and Postgraduate Diploma in BSL/English Interpreting and Translation at the University of Central Lancashire in Preston. He has previously taught both Interpreting and Linguistics at Northeastern University in Boston, USA as well as having presented workshops and conference papers in North America, South America and Europe.