Big trouble at a birthday party

Roger W. Shuy

in The Language of Sexual Misconduct Cases

Published in print September 2012 | ISBN: 9780199926961
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780199980505 | DOI:
Big trouble at a birthday party

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This chapter discusses a case where a drunken teenage girl was sexually molested by her stepfather. It considers that the police interview of the stepfather was classically flawed, because not only was the interviewer biased in his assumptions, the police failed to represent accurately what the suspects and witnesses said. It then studies the stepfather's schema during his conversations with the girl's mother (his ex-wife), including his intonation. This chapter also looks at the police's request for directives, which can lead the suspect to mention incriminating information.

Keywords: sexual molestation; stepfather; police interview; classic flaws; schema; intonation; request for directives; incriminating information

Chapter.  2336 words. 

Subjects: Sociolinguistics

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