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Thesis Announcement: Modelling Time Reference in Judges’ Summations: a Study in Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom

  • 16 Jul 2018 5:04 AM
    Message # 6382760
    Joseph Farquharson (Administrator)

    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.

    See original post at LINGUIST List.

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