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Abstract

This open forum article consists of an interview with Risa Shaw, a signed language interpreter educator, in which she reviews her doctoral research. Her study examined narratives and retellings, in both English and American Sign Language, of disclosures to family members of sexual assault. The findings reveal the importance of context in creating meaning and in shaping narrative structure in discourse. In addition, the work highlights the manner in which interpreters must prepare for the work in order to effectively interpret in the diverse settings where narratives are retold. This interdisciplinary study has implications for interpreters and interpreter educators, across languages and cultures, in terms of how the task of interpreting is conceptualized and taught. Finally, the article draws attention to some of the crucial issues that researchers must attend to when conducting linguistic studies that draw on knowledge from non-dominant linguistic communities.

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