A union representative charged with perjury

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Perjury Cases

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795383
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919314 | DOI:
A union representative charged with perjury

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A carpenter’s union business representative, who was native speaker of Hawaiian Creole and Hawaiian Pidgin English, was charged with perjury when, in his testimony at the trial of two union colleagues, he allegedly perjured himself and was then indicted. The defendant’s understanding and use of certain lexicon, such as “recall,” “organize,” and “scab,” framed some of the charges against him. The role of the man’s schema in the speech event of a trial also contributed to the linguistic analysis of this case. The conversational strategies of the prosecutor were also central, as he used the ‘hit and run’ strategy and twisted the defendant’s use of English grammatical concord rules to accommodate the case against him.

Keywords: perjury; speech acts; language interference; cultural interference; semantics; lexicon; grammar; schema; conversational strategies

Chapter.  4066 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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