Abstract

Individual events within courtroom discourse, such as lawyer-witness interactions have been studied extensively, particularly within a framework of powerful vs. powerless language (Adelsward, 1987; Archer, 2006; Bogoch, 2000; Eades, 2010; Fuller, 1993; Gnisci & Bakeman, 2007; Hobbs, 2007; Keating, 2009; Penman, 1990; Philips, 1984; Roberts, 1990). However, this thesis will show that courtroom discourse is sufficiently unique to warrant a distinct framework. It will also explore the explanatory power of a Courtroom Discourse Verbal Performance framework influenced by Verbal Art as Performance (Bauman, 1977). In particular this work will create a framework (Courtroom Discourse Verbal Performance) that explains the sociolinguistic situation of the entire courtroom trial instead of simply one small part (i.e. questioning a witness, entering a plea, etc.). This framework allows for the inclusion of the whole courtroom discourse event into a single unifying idea of courtroom discourse as performance. The peculiar sociolinguistic interactions of various people within courtroom discourse are explained as restrictions on the interactions of roles within the performance. Courtroom discourse data gathered from the Provo Fourth District Court is presented and analyzed as supporting evidence.

Degree

MA

College and Department

Humanities; Linguistics and English Language

Rights

http://lib.byu.edu/about/copyright/

Date Submitted

2012-07-09

Document Type

Thesis

Handle

http://hdl.lib.byu.edu/1877/etd5482

Keywords

courtroom discourse, verbal performance

Included in

Linguistics Commons

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