Book

The Language of Perjury Cases

Roger W Shuy

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795383
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919314 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199795383.001.0001
The Language of Perjury Cases

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This book describes the contributions of linguistics to the intelligence gathering and analysis in the legal context by showing the way evidence is analyzed in eleven perjury cases. Beginning with a brief review of perjury law, it shows how the meaning of lexicon, grammatical structures, and ambiguities are important in such cases, stressing that it would be prudent for prosecutors and defense attorneys alike to begin their review in such cases with the larger units of language, by identifying the speech event, the schemas of the participants, the agendas of the participants as revealed by the topics they introduce and the responses they make to the topics of others. Other smaller language units, such as potentially ambiguous expressions, grammatical referencing, and lexical choices, which are often considered “smoking gun” evidence, often can be better understood when seen in the larger context of the overall discourse. The book suggests that in perjury cases both the prosecution and defense can use many of the tools of linguistics that may be relatively unknown to the legal profession. It further urges that often lawyers would be prudent to call on linguists to help them whether for the prosecution or defense. Eight of the case examples describe the inadequate intelligence gathering and analysis by the prosecution and the use of linguistic tools to resolve these problems. The other three cases show how district attorneys and judges repaired failed intelligence analyses.

Keywords: perjury; intelligence gathering; intelligence analysis; cultural interference; linguistic tools; speech event; schema; agenda; topics; responses; cooperative principle; speech acts; conversational strategies; recency principle; grammar; ambiguity; lexicon

Book.  232 pages. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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Table of Contents

Introduction in The Language of Perjury Cases

Chapter

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Perjury and proof of perjury in The Language of Perjury Cases

Chapter

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False statements in a bankruptcy case in The Language of Perjury Cases

Chapter

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False statements and fraud in a bank loan in The Language of Perjury Cases

Chapter

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A doctor charged with perjury in The Language of Perjury Cases

Chapter

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