Welcome to the collaboration area for creating a NEW approach to teaching discourse analysis for interpreters. This approach seeks to offer a holistic and systematic perspective of discourse as the foundation of meaning-centered interpreting (including both translation and interpreting).

The preliminary structure is that of 2 sequential semester-length courses ( approximately 15 weeks each, Discourse Analysis 1 and Discourse Analysis 2. The courses apply discourse mapping to the ongoing study of the emergence of meaning through interaction, and adhere to a learning-centered process of discovery, application, and assessment.

Discourse Analysis 1

This course will focus on the introduction of discourse analysis to interpreting students, and will introduce notions of discourse in general, with application to both English and ASL across a variety of interactions, ranging from conversation to formal presentations (often referred to as interactive and monologic).

We approach the study of discourse as a temporal process, identifying the common and unique discourse structures that occur amongst them while simultaneously exploring the intent of the discourse, as impacted by the many social and personal factors each participant brings to the interaction. We explore definitions and concepts of “meaning” and meaning-centered interpretation; social and personal factors such as gender, age, race, education, environment, setting, and social expectations such as politeness, solidarity/independence, formality, direct/indirect, positive/negative, active/passive…..

Discourse structures include.. (e.g. openings which include greetings, formulaic language and gestures, self-narrative, topic introduction, turn-taking; body of the interaction, which include turn-taking with the features of overlap, interruption, and backchanneling, topic shift, coherence and cohesion, redundance, reference and co-reference, discourse markers, etc as they occur across different registers and genres; and closings which include topic summary, leave-taking, etc.

Applying the method of discourse mapping as a guide, participants will analyze source language texts in both English and ASL for these structures, functions, and forms, and will identify parallel and corresponding functions that are manifested through differing features in each language.

Discourse Analysis 2

Building on the studies and analyses developed in DA 1, participants will progress from mapping the discourse structures, forms and features of source language texts to the transformation of the discourse intent to the target language. The focus will also be on understanding various concepts of equivalence (dynamic, formal-Nida) between a source and target text and on assessing the extent to which equivalance is achieved.