A look at WH-questions in direct and cross-examinations: Authentic vs. TV courtroom language

Meishan Chen, Randi Reppen

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Using a corpus-based register approach, this study explores language use of authentic and TV courtroom discourse through the lens of WH-questions, with a focus on direct and cross-examinations. Results show that in addition to differences as a result of these two discourse settings (i.e., authentic and TV courtroom), WH-questions accomplish different goals across the registers of direct and cross-examinations. For example, WH-questions are avoided in authentic cross-examinations, while in TV courtroom discourse WH-questions are used to engage viewers. Results explore how the different communicative purposes of authentic and TV courtroom settings impact the use of WH-questions in direct and cross-examinations.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1-20
Number of pages20
JournalDELTA Documentacao de Estudos em Linguistica Teorica e Aplicada
Volume36
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2020

Keywords

  • communicative purpose
  • corpus based register approach
  • courtroom discourse
  • discursos de tribunais
  • Palavras-chave:abordagem de registros baseada em corpus
  • propósitos comunicativos
  • use of WH-questions
  • uso das wh-questions

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Linguistics and Language

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