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"She had it coming?': An experimental study of text interpretation in a police classroom setting
Linnaeus University, Faculty of Arts and Humanities, Department of Swedish Language.
2018 (English)In: Nordic Journal of Linguistics, ISSN 0332-5865, E-ISSN 1502-4717, Vol. 41, no 2, p. 133-153Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The aim of this study is to investigate how modifications of reporting verbs, modality, style and use of quotation marks in an authentic police report can lead to different interpretations by two groups of trainee police officers. Data was collected through an experiment in a classroom setting, where police trainees discussed two versions of the same police report in focus group discussions. The trainees' statements were categorised into three themes: impression of the victim, impression of the accused, and assessment of the situation's severity. The results show that modifications such as formal or informal choice of words and the use of scare quotes proved to be influential linguistic modifications. In contrast, variation of reporting verbs and modality appeared less significant. The two versions of the text created different impressions of both the victim and the accused, and the interpretations of the severity of the situation depicted in the text varied between the two trainee groups. This highlights the importance of further study of the linguistic constructions of victims and perpetrators in police texts, in order to ensure credibility and equality before the law.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Cambridge University Press, 2018. Vol. 41, no 2, p. 133-153
Keywords [en]
police reports, police training, text interpretation, text modification
National Category
Languages and Literature
Research subject
Humanities, Swedish
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:lnu:diva-78419DOI: 10.1017/S0332586518000094ISI: 000444805100002Scopus ID: 2-s2.0-85053689647OAI: oai:DiVA.org:lnu-78419DiVA, id: diva2:1257775
Available from: 2018-10-22 Created: 2018-10-22 Last updated: 2019-08-29Bibliographically approved

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CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf