Some recommendations for analyzing perjury cases

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Perjury Cases

Published in print September 2011 | ISBN: 9780199795383
Published online January 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199919314 | DOI:
Some recommendations for analyzing perjury cases

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This chapter reprises the points made throughout the book; that the intelligence analysis of the language evidence in perjury cases (as well as other types of cases) would be prudently served if the analysts began their work with the larger language units, first identifying the speech event that influences the language used, identifying the schemas of the participants, which influence their understanding of what is being said, identifying the agendas of the participants as revealed by the topics they introduce and recycle as well as by their responses to the topics of others, the use of the cooperative principle, and identification of the way the participants use speech acts. Once these larger language units are analyzed, the small language units, such as the uses of the recency principle, ambiguity, and lexical semantics of the words used can be contextualized into the overall discourse patterns. These smaller language units are often the first place investigators look, sometimes finding what they believe to be “smoking guns.” This chapter argues for deferring analysis of the smaller language units until it is clear where and how they fit into the larger language units.

Keywords: perjury; intelligence analysis; speech event; schema; agenda; topic analysis; response analysis; recency principle; ambiguity; lexicon; semantics

Chapter.  3411 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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