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The Presentation of Voices, Evidence, and Participant Roles in Austrian Courts: A Case Study on a Record of Court Proceedings


This paper presents the analysis of a record of court proceedings that comprises the paraphrased and dictated statements of the appellant and the witness in the case. Due to the nature of how the transcript is created, it is impossible for the participants’ statements to be “verbatim.” Therefore, the judge’s evaluation becomes subjective, which inevitably plays a role in the way the evidence and participants are represented in the record. Little research has investigated how the judge’s voice is included in such records. Thus, it is the aim of this case study to investigate the judge’s voice and whether the way the records are written can shed light onto the judge’s stance. The judge’s stance is analyzed through the use of systemic functional grammar (Halliday, 2014), metadiscursive markers (Hyland, 2005, 2015), and participant roles (van Leeuwen, 1996). The analysis shows that, to a certain degree, the outcome of the case, i.e. whose side the judge ruled in favor of, is already visible in the records. Therefore, this analysis has important implications and provides a foundation for further work with a larger data sample.

Cite as: Marko, JLL 8 (2019), 12–33, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2019.012


court record, non-verbatim, participant roles, presentation of voices, metadiscourse, functional grammar


Author Biography

Karoline Marko

I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the English Department of the University of Graz.


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