Volume 36, Issue 1
  • ISSN 0774-5141
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9676
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Task-based exchanges are known to have multiple co-occurring interactive structures that prompt interlocutors to integrate various semiotic fields (Goodwin 2000). In addition to underlying norms of cooperative interaction, task-based exchanges include joint accomplishment of some activity. In this study, a group of co-workers (two hearing and one deaf) engaged in a team-building exercise where they jointly constructed a container fit for protecting an egg. They communicated, in part, via a sign language interpreter. Clark’s (2016) methods of communication were applied to the interpreter-mediated interaction (IMI) to determine whether certain semiotic modes were more (or less) accessible to the respective linguistic groups. Micro-analysis of three activity phases revealed moments when the participants responded to and integrated semiotic fields displayed in front of them. While not all content was accessible, like the complex depictive structures produced by the deaf person, some instances of mutual understanding without interpretation were achieved via integration of meaningful components of visibly accessible semiotic fields. Results challenge traditional views of IMIs where interpreters are positioned as channelling communicative content exclusively through them.


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