Some researchers see the deaf interpreter’s special skills in language modification as part of their Deaf Extra-Linguistic Knowledge acquired as they grow up in the deaf community with a sign language as their first language.
Obviously, elements of DELK are contributing to the deaf interpreters sensitivity to the consumer’s needs and enable the DI to interpret in a culturally appropriate way that ensures the consumer
feels more comfortable in the situation.
But the factors of DELK are, as the name states, extra-linguistic.
We still need to explore what intra-linguistic tools the deaf
interpreters use in their accommodation to the consumer’s language too.
This article tried to solve the mystery of deaf interpreter’s intra-linguistic knowledge, following these research questions:
What linguistic resources do deaf interpreters draw upon in their accommodation to a consumer with special communicative needs?
How can knowledge of these resources be put into use in the education of future interpreters?
From the linguistic point of view, it is most plausible that, being L1 speakers of sign language, the DIs draw upon some kind of native-speaker intra-linguistic knowledge."