Chapter One of Sign Language Interpreting continued...
banner encounters. Recent sociolinguistic analyses of interpreted interactions indicate that the role of interpreters is not as neutral as much of the literature has either assumed or prescribed. In a recent examination of interactive interpreting, Wadensjö raises an important question with regard to interpreter neutrality: "Given that neutrality is a notion concerning relations, the question concerning dialogue interpreters' activities must be: neutral in relation to whom and/or what?" (1992, 268).

Wadensjö suggests that the interpreter must be neutral with regard to the participants for whom she is providing a service. While interpreters might feel more or less loyal to one or another participant, or to one or another of the participant's goals, the interpreter must keep these feelings separate from her task as an interpreter in order to successfully accomplish it. Wadensjö found that this need to maintain a distance from other participants actually contributed to interpreters' omissions of certain kinds of utterances. For example, when a participant foregrounded the interpreting task through comments such as "Say what he says now," the interpreter did not always provide a rendition of these comments (268); that is, the interpreter did not interpret the comment that had been directed to the interpreter. This example seems to raise an additional issue with regard to Wadensjö's question of neutral relationships: interpreters have the option of remaining neutral in relation to their own utterances, be they renditions of others' discourse or not.

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