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.
©2015 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Boston