Discourse markers in free indirect style and interpreting

Diane Blakemore, Fabrizio Gallai

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

26 Citations (SciVal)


This paper contributes to the discussion of how free indirect style (FIS) and interpreter's renditions are accommodated in a relevance theoretic approach to communication. Within relevance theory, it has been argued that FIS and interpreting are cases of attributive use: FIS representations and interpreters’ renditions are representations of the author's/interpreter's thoughts about attributed thoughts. We ask whether this approach can accommodate FIS representations and interpreters’ renditions which contain perspective dependent discourse markers, and in particular whether it captures the role played by these expressions in encouraging the reader/hearer to think that s/he has direct access to the thoughts of fictional characters/original speakers. We apply Blakemore's (2010) account of discourse markers in FIS to data from interpreter mediated police interviews where renditions include discourse markers added by the interpreter to develop an alternative relevance theoretic account. This allows us to reconcile the hearer's impression that the interpreter's voice is suppressed with research in interpreting studies which shows that interpreters are in reality both visible and active co-participants in these exchanges.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)106–120
Number of pages14
JournalJournal of Pragmatics
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2014


  • Police interpreting
  • Attributive use
  • Free indirect style


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