29.2888, Diss: Forensic Linguistics; Creole English, Jamaican: Clive Forrester: ''Modelling Time Reference in Judges’ Summations: a Study in Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom''

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LINGUIST List: Vol-29-2888. Fri Jul 13 2018. ISSN: 1069 - 4875.

Subject: 29.2888, Diss: Forensic Linguistics; Creole English, Jamaican: Clive Forrester: ''Modelling Time Reference in Judges’ Summations: a Study in Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom''

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Date: Fri, 13 Jul 2018 11:42:43
From: Clive Forrester [clive.forrester at uwaterloo.ca]
Subject: Modelling Time Reference in Judges’ Summations: a Study in Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom

 
Institution: University of the West Indies at Mona 
Program: Department of Language, Linguistics & Philosophy 
Dissertation Status: Completed 
Degree Date: 2012 

Author: Clive Forrester

Dissertation Title: Modelling Time Reference in Judges’ Summations: a Study in
Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom 

Linguistic Field(s): Forensic Linguistics

Subject Language(s): Creole English, Jamaican (jam)


Dissertation Director(s):
Prof. Hubert Devonish
Prof. John Baugh

Dissertation Abstract:

When witnesses take the stand in court, they attempt, for the most part, to
reduce the past experience of a crime to a story. Because of the discourse
norms inside the courtroom, however, this story is usually co-created and
mediated by a lawyer via examination in chief or cross-examination. What can
potentially occur as a result of this is a series of competing narratives –
different, and sometimes contradictory, versions of the same story. Judges
must somehow find a way to consolidate all the competing narratives inside the
courtroom before arriving at the verdict, or, in juried cases, instruct the
jury on how to arrive at a final decision.

This dissertation examines the techniques the judge uses to consolidate one
particular detail - time. Since the two main languages in the Jamaican
courtroom, Jamaican Creole and English have markedly distinct ways of marking
time both lexically and grammatically, the judge’s task is a complex one. The
study develops a model of how judges manage time references presented to them
in competing stories encoded in highly variable linguistic forms along the
Creole to English continuum in Jamaica.




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