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Speak English or What?Codeswitching and Interpreter Use in New York City Courts$
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Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9780199337569

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199337569.001.0001

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Language ideology and legal outcomes

Language ideology and legal outcomes

(p.191) 7 Language ideology and legal outcomes
Speak English or What?

Philipp Sebastian Angermeyer

Oxford University Press

This chapter synthesizes the analyses presented in the previous chapters and discusses their implications. The disadvantages experienced by speakers of other languages are shown to result from language ideologies that underlie institutional practices of courtroom interaction and interpreting. They are exacerbated by the actions of some arbitrators and many interpreters, which can be understood as resulting from an unwillingness to share the burden of communication with litigants who speak a language other than English, expecting them to produce testimony that conforms to institutional expectations, without facilitating this process. It is argued that these actions have consequences for legal outcomes, as speakers of a language other than English are less likely to succeed in court. This in turn is argued to be emblematic of the accommodative pressures faced by immigrants in the United States.

Keywords:   language ideology, legal outcomes, burden of communication, inequality

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