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Title: When police treat straightforward answers as uncooperative
Authors: Antaki, Charles
Stokoe, Elizabeth
Keywords: Police interviews
Suspects
Witnesses
Cooperative principle
Institutional talk
Issue Date: 2017
Publisher: © Elsevier
Citation: ANTAKI, C. and STOKOE, E., 2017. When police treat straightforward answers as uncooperative. Journal of Pragmatics, 117, pp. 1-15.
Abstract: In formal police interviews, interviewers may have institutionally mandated reasons for following up even apparently fully co-operative answers with questions that imply that the interviewee is in fact (knowingly or unknowingly) being uncooperative. From a sample of over 100 UK interviews with suspects arrested for minor offences, and 19 interviews with witnesses alleging sexual assault, we identify and analyse follow-up questions which do not presume that interviewees' apparently 'normal' answers respect the Gricean maxims of quantity, quality, relevance or manner. We identify three institutional motivations working to over-ride the normal communicative contract: to 'get the facts straight'; to prepare for later challenges; and pursue a description of events that more evidently categorizes the alleged perpetrators' behaviour as criminal.
Description: This paper is closed access until 6th January 2019.
Version: Accepted for publication
DOI: 10.1016/j.pragma.2017.05.012
URI: https://dspace.lboro.ac.uk/2134/25322
Publisher Link: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.pragma.2017.05.012
ISSN: 0378-2166
Appears in Collections:Closed Access (Social Sciences)

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