LINGUIST List 32.3483

Thu Nov 04 2021

Books: The Suspect's Statement: Komter

Editor for this issue: Billy Dickson <>

Date: 10-Oct-2021
From: Eleanor Hennerley <>
Subject: The Suspect's Statement: Komter
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Title: The Suspect's Statement
Subtitle: Talk and Text in the Criminal Process
Series Title: Studies in Interactional Sociolinguistics 33
Published: 2021
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Martha Komter
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107698772 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 31.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107698772 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 23.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107698772 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 28.00

Editor's Note: This is a new edition of a previously announced title.

What suspects tell the police may become a crucial piece of evidence when the case comes to court. But what happens to 'the suspect's statement' when it is written down by the police? Based on a unique set of data from over fifteen years' worth of research, Martha Komter examines the trajectory of the suspect's statement from the police interrogation through to the trial. She shows how the suspect's statement is elicited and written down in the police report, how this police report both represents and differs from the original talk in the interrogation, and how it is quoted and referred to in court. The analyses cover interactions in multiple settings, with documents that link one interaction to the next, providing insights into the interactional and documentary foundations of the criminal process and, more generally, into the construction, character and uses of documents in institutional settings.

1. Introduction; 2. The police interrogation: the talk, the typing and the text; 3. The police report: the document, the text and the talk; 4. The trial: documents in action; 5. The career of a suspect's statement; 6. Conclusion and discussion.

Linguistic Field(s): Anthropological Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

See this book announcement on our website:

Page Updated: 04-Nov-2021