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Conceptual manipulation by metaphors and frames: Dealing with rape victims in legal discourse

Aldridge-Waddon, Michelle and Luchjenbroers, June 2007. Conceptual manipulation by metaphors and frames: Dealing with rape victims in legal discourse. Text and Talk 27 (3) , pp. 339-359. 10.1515/TEXT.2007.014

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Abstract

With an emphasis on the linguistic experiences of rape victims in the legal system, this paper is a consideration of recent innovations in semantic analysis that offer important methodological tools for the analysis of legal encounters. The concepts to be discussed include metaphor and frames, within the context of how questions are used in legal settings. Metaphor captures cultural stereotypes, encoded in a speaker's choice of descriptors, and is a powerful tool in the investigation of speaker attitudes. Frames are culturally accepted information sets surrounding every lexical term. The appropriateness of the chosen frame is also of key importance to ‘smuggling information’, a term used when (negative) information is covertly inserted into the witness's testimony. We look at how such linguistic manipulation can weaken the witness's account by suggesting that she is to blame and/or is lying, and perhaps, in part, explain why rape victims tend not to be believed in court.

Item Type: Article
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: English, Communication and Philosophy
Subjects: K Law > K Law (General)
P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Publisher: De Gruyter
ISSN: 1860-7330
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 01:51
URI: http://orca-mwe.cf.ac.uk/id/eprint/3648

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