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
I am currently a postdoctoral researcher at the English Department of the University of Graz.
- Adams, S. & Jarvis, J. P. (2006). ‘Indicators of veracity and deception. An analysis of written witness statements made to the police.’ Speech, Language and the Law, 13(1), 1–22. DOI: 10.5195/lesli.2013.2.
- Banscherus, J. (1977). Polizeiliche Vernehmung: Formen, Verhalten, Protokollierung. Hilden: Verlagsanstalt Deutsche Polizei GmbH.
- Biber, D. (2006). University Language: A Corpus-Based Study of Spoken and Written Registers. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.
- Byrman, G. & Byrman, Y. (2018). In evidence: Linguistic transformations of events in police interview reports. Nordic Journal of Linguistics, 41(2), 155–181. DOI: 10.1017/S0332586518000100.
- Canning, P. (2018). “No ordinary crowd”: Foregrounding a “hooligan schema” in the construction of witness narratives following the Hillsborough football stadium disaster. Discourse & Society, 29(3), 237–255. DOI: 10.1177/0957926517734665.
- Cavalieri, S. (2016). The role of metadiscourse in counsels’ questions. In Cheng, L. (Ed.), Exploring Courtroom Discourse: The Language of Power and Control. New York: Routledge.
- Cetkovic, S. (2014). Position of Temporal Adverbs in Police Reports in English. Mediterranean Journal of Sciences, 5(13): 217–221. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n13p217.
- Conley, J. M. & O’Barr, W. M. (2005). Just Words. Chicago and London: Chicago University Press.
- Coulthard, M. (2002). Whose voice is it? Invented and concealed dialog in written records of verbal evidence produced by the police. In J. Cotterill (Ed.), Language in the Legal Process, 19–34. London: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9780230522770_2.
- European Commission (2018). General Data Protection Regulation. https://euro-lex.europa.eu/legal-conent/EN/TXT/PDF/?uri=CELEX:02016R0679-20160504&from=EN [accessed August 2018].
- Felton-Rosulek, L. (2015). Dueling Discourses. The Construction of Reality in Closing Arguments. New York: Oxford University Press.
- Fraser, H. (2003). Issues in transcription: factors affecting the reliability of transcripts as evidence in legal cases. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 10(2): 203–226. DOI: 10.1558/sll.2003.10.2.203.
- Gudjonsson, G. & Haward. L. R. C. (1983). Psychological analysis of confession statements. Science & Justice, 23(2): 113–120.
- Halliday, M. A. K. (2014). Introduction to Functional Grammar. London & New York: Routledge.
- Harris, B. (1990). Norms in Interpretation. Target, 2:1, 115–119. DOI: 10.1075/target.2.1.08har.
- Hewings, A. (2012). Stance and voice in academic discourse across channels. In K. Hyland & C. S. Guinda (Eds.), Stance and Voice in Written Academic Genres, 187–201. London: Palgrave Macmillan.
- Hirvela, A. & Belcher, D. (2001). Coming back to voice: The multiple voices and identities of mature multilingual writers. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10, 83–106. DOI: 10.1016/S1060-3743(00)00038-2.
- Hoffmann, L. (1989). Rechtsdiskurse. Untersuchungen zur Kommunikation in Gerichtsverfahren. Tübingen: Gunter Narr Verlag.
- Hyland, K. (2005). Metadiscourse: Exploring Interaction in Writing. London: Continuum.
- Hyland, H. (2015). Metadiscourse. In K. Tracy (Ed.), The International Encyclopedia of Language and Social Interaction. Hoboken: John Wiley & Sons.
- Ivanic, R. & Camps, D. (2001). I am how I sound: Voice as self-representation in L2 writing. Journal of Second Language Writing, 10, 3–33. DOI: 10.1016/S1060-3743(01)00034-0.
- Jönsson, L. & Linell, P. (1991). Story generations: From dialogical interviews to written reports in police interrogations. Text, 11(3), 419–440. DOI: 10.1515/text.1.19220.127.116.119.
- Komter, M. (2006). From talk to text: The interactional construction of a police record. Research on Language and Social Interaction, 39(3), 201–228. DOI: 10.1207/s15327973rlsi3903_2.
- Mertz, E., Ford, W. K. & Matoesian, G. M. (Eds.) (2016). Translating the Social World for Law. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
- Olsson, J. (1997). The dictation and alteration of text. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 4(2), 226–251. DOI: 10.1558/ijsll.v4i2.226.
- Olsson, J. (2004). Forensic Linguistics. London: Continuum.
- Rock, F. (2001). The genesis of a witness statement. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 8(2), 44–72. DOI: 10.1558/sll.2001.8.2.44.
- Tardy, C. (2012). Current conceptions of voice. In K. Hyland & C.S. Guinda (Eds.), Stance and Voice in Written Academic Genres, 34–48. London: Palgrave Macmillan. DOI: 10.1057/9781137030825_3.
- Toolan, M. J. (2001). Narrative: A Critical Linguistic Introduction. London: Routledge.
- van Leeuwen, T. (1996). The representation of social actors. In C. Caldas-Coulthard & M. Coulthard (Eds.), Texts and Practices. Readings in Critical Discourse Analysis, 32–70. London & New York: Routledge.