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Title: Language and Power in Court
Subtitle: A Linguistic Analysis of the O.J. Simpson Trial
Written By: Janet Cotterill

'Language and Power in Court is a riveting treatment of the many ways that linguistics applies to a criminal case. Most forensic linguistics books and articles deal with bits and pieces of trials. Not Cotterill. She analyzes mountains of data from the beginning jury selection process to the post-acquittal aftermath of this nine month trial--a holistic approach if there ever was one. Impressively she draws on research from a number of disciplines besides linguistics, including psychology, sociology, criminology and law. She calls on discourse analysis to describe how both the prosecution and the defense told the different stories they wanted the jury to hear. She Calls on the CobuildDirect corpus to provide a powerful analysis of connotations used by both sides in the case. As might be expected there is also an abundance of attention to the questions and answers that frame a jury trial. She shows how lawyers use their own metaphors and reframe the opposition's metaphors to their own advantage. The underpinning message of the book, however, is language power--what it is, how it is managed, and what it accomplishes. Since a host of fields are now trying to determine just how power works, the verbal duels of the "trial of a century" provide a memorable battlefield for Cotterill's analysis.'
Professor Roger Shuy, Distinguished Research Professor Emeritus, Georgetown University 'Cotterill's skills as a linguist...combine with this rich source of data to produce an original piece of work that goes well beyond current scholarship in analyzing the various power relationships in the trial process through close examination of the language used.' - Lawrence M. Solan, Professor of Law, Brooklyn Law School

Sociolinguists and lawyers will find insight and relevance in this account of the language of the courtroom, as exemplified in the criminal trial of O.J. Simpson. The trial is examined as the site of linguistic power and persuasion, focusing on the role of language in (re)presenting and (re)constructing the crime. In addition to the trial transcripts, the book draws on Simpson's post-arrest interview, media reports and post-trial interviews with jurors. The result is a unique multi-dimensional insight into the 'Trial of the Century' from a linguistic and discursive perspective.

List of Figures and Tables
Introduction - A Crime Chronology: The Murders of Nicole Brown Simpson and Ron Goldman
Trial by Jury: Legal Frameworks and Linguistics Consequences
Macro-, Micro- and Multiple Narratives: Storytelling in Court
Framing Courtroom Narratives Through Strategic Lexicalisation: The Opening Statements
Interaction in the Criminal Trial: Participants and Processes, Roles and Relationships
Direct and Cross-Examination: uestions and Answers in Court
Mind the Gap: Negotiating Power, Knowledge and Status in Expert Witness Testimony 'If it doesn't fit, you must acquit': Reframing the Story through Metaphorical Choice in the Closing Arguments
Judging the Jury: The Deliberation, The Verdict and The Aftermath

Publication Year: 2003
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
Review: Not available for review. If you would like to review a book on The LINGUIST List, please login to view the AFR list.
BibTex: View BibTex record
Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 0333969014
ISBN-13: N/A
Pages: 256
Prices: £45/$69.95