2.2 Monsefi

| September 2, 2020

Roya Monsefi. (2012). Language in Criminal Justice: Forensic linguistics in Shipman trial. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 2(2), 43-69.

Abstract: Inquiry sessions of a court play a vital role in juries’ decisions and consequently fate of the defendant. In the present paper, attorneys’ questioning strategies in 146 examination-in-chief sessions of Dr Shipman’s murder trial are comprehensively studied. Applying the descriptive method, this study is equipped with Quirk, Greenbaum, Leech, and Svartvik’s (1980) linguistic, Stenström’s (1984) pragmatic, and Goldberg’s (2003) legal perspectives as its cornerstone framework. Seven types of question categories with regard to two elements of elicitative force and conduciveness are thoroughly scrutinised. The outcome reveals an eye-catching difference between different categories of questions. Yes/No question is the dominant and tag question is the minor category in both examination-in-chiefs of witnesses and the defendant. Attorneys deliberately use certain kinds of questions in examination-in-chief sessions. Though they are encouraged to use more open-ended questions, they suffice to Yes/No questions to have optimal control over responses.

Keywords: forensic linguistics, courtroom discourse, adversarial system of justice, question types, examination-in-chief, elicitative force, conduciveness


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Category: Volume 2