Dialogue interpreting in Psychological Medicine : an exploration of rapport management practices
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This thesis explores how the relational dimension of language use (Brown and Yule, 1983) is discursively co-constructed and perceived by the interlocutors that took part in a series of interpreter-mediated medical consultations. The interpreter-mediated encounters (IMEs) under scrutiny took place in an outpatient mental healthcare (MHC) clinic in Scotland called Psychological Medicine. This study is of an exploratory and qualitative nature, underpinned by a social constructivist epistemology. Also, it was empirically enabled through two datasets gathered using methods of data collection inspired by ethnographic approaches. Dataset 1 consists of transcriptions of three audio-recorded IMEs between an English-speaking consultant psychiatrist, a Spanish-speaking patient and three professional interpreters. Dataset 2 consists of retrospective interviews conducted with participants that took part in the consultations under scrutiny. The analysis was conducted in two stages. Discursive behaviours of interest were firstly traced in dataset 1 and then triangulated with the information gathered through dataset 2. Relational dynamics are operationalised in this thesis following Spencer-Oatey’s (2008) rapport management (RM) theory, grounded in the field of interactional pragmatics. By applying the principles of RM to the analysis of the two datasets, I shed light onto participants’ RM practices and resulting relational outcomes in the analysed IMEs. To do that, I present analytical descriptions of a selection of excerpts where occurrences of rapport-sensitive speech acts (RSSAs) are reported, the reasons for their occurrence, and the ways in which they are managed by all participants. Ultimately, the findings provide insights into how interlocutors create and negotiate interpersonal meanings both triadically and dyadically; the role that contextual factors play in this process; and, finally, how all participants, including interpreters, are actively engaged in efforts to manage the interactional balance by discursively handling face sensitivities, behavioural expectations and interactional goals.