Accessible Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton March 31, 2015

Positioning self and others in the courtroom: Person markers in the opening statement

Krisda Chaemsaithong

Abstract

Conceptualizing person markers as an instrument of ideological negotiation and persuasion, this study explores the relationships between language, interaction and identity in the context of courtroom opening statements. The study quantitatively and qualitatively analyzes the use of first- and second-person markers. Based on a corpus of three high-profile trials, the findings indicate that person markers are pragmatically conditioned and contribute to making opening statement argumentative. By manipulating pronouns, the lawyers construct a shared identity with jurors and, at the same time, an authoritative self-image in order to align the jurors with their version of reality.

Received: 2014-7-8
Revised: 2014-11-30
Accepted: 2014-12-2
Published Online: 2015-3-31

©2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston