Social Interaction, Social Context, and Language: Essays in Honor of Susan Ervin-Tripp

By Dan Isaac Slobin; Julie Gerhardt et al. | Go to book overview

to be lost, convictions would surely become harder to secure. And -- in America's favorite nightmare -- criminals might go free to walk the streets. And if the government were seen as a result to be helpless to ensure the security of the citizens, the social contract might well be abrogated -- an invitation, as the Founders would be the first to tell us, to revolution. Intolerable!

I for one am happy that, as an academic linguist rather than a jurist, I don't have to make real-life Solomonic decisions of this kind. If I had to, though, I might suggest as a first step what has already been suggested by prominent legal scholars: that convictions, and certainly capital sentences, never be based totally on a defendant's confession (as is not infrequently the current case), since confession as a speech act and a discourse genre is notoriously subject to abuse.


REFERENCES

Ainsworth, J. ( 1993). "In a different register: The pragmatics of powerlessness in police interrogation". Yale Law Journal, 103,259-322.

Austin, J. L. ( 1962). How to do things with words. Oxford: Clarendon.

Davis, N., & Starn, R. ( 1989). "Introduction". Memory and Countermemory. Special issue of Representations, 26,1-6.

Geertz, C. ( 1983). Local knowledge. New York: Basic Books.

Grice, H. P. ( 1975). Logic and conversation. In P. Cole & J. L. Morgan (Eds.), Syntax and semantics 3: Speech acts (pp. 41-58). New York: Academic.

Johnson, B. (ed.) ( 1993). Freedom and interpretation. New York: Basic Books.

Lakoff, A., & Becker, M. ( 1991). Me, myself and I: Spatial metaphors for the self. Unpublished manuscript.

Lakoff, R. ( 1990). Talking power. New York: Basic Books.

Linde, C. ( 1993). Life stories: The creation of coherence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Sacks, H., Schegloff, E., & Jefferson, G. ( 1974). A simplest systematics for the analysis of turn-taking in conversation. Language, 50,696-735.

Sass, L. A. ( 1992). Madness and modernism. New York: Basic Books.

Searle, J. R. ( 1969). Speech acts. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

Searle, J. R. ( 1979) Expression and meaning. Cambridge, England: Cambridge University Press.

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