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Male and Female Witnesses’ Speech in Swedish Criminal Trials
KTH, School of Computer Science and Communication (CSC), Speech, Music and Hearing, TMH, Language and Communication.
2006 (English)In: Hermes - Journal of Language and Communication Studies, ISSN 0904-1699, Vol. 36, 129-156 p.Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

The present quantitative study focuses on witnesses’ speech in Swedish criminal trials,more specifi cally on potential differences between men’s and women’s language styles.Since the 1970s, research on language and gender has been divided into three mainapproaches towards the relationship between men’s and women’s language use: thedefi cit approach, the dominance approach and the cultural approach. The presentstudy uses the more recent dynamic approach to show how gender is acted out in eachsituation taking into account a number of factors, e.g. context. The aim of our workis fi rst and foremost to study the possible correlation between the witnesses’ genderand language in the courtroom context and then to investigate if income and/or levelof education provide better explanations for possible variation by looking at a broadrange of linguistic variables. The results show no statistically signifi cant gender orsocial status differences in the witnesses’ speech. However, when comparing the resultsof the testifying police offi cers accidentally included in the study with the rest of thewitnesses, the differences turned out to be signifi cant. This shows that, in this case,factors such as previous courtroom experience and familiarity with the context wereprobably more infl uential on the speech of the informants than gender, income andeducation, in conformity with the assumptions of the dynamic approach.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2006. Vol. 36, 129-156 p.
National Category
Computer Science Language Technology (Computational Linguistics)
URN: urn:nbn:se:kth:diva-51917OAI: diva2:465211
tmh_import_11_12_14. QC 20111221Available from: 2011-12-14 Created: 2011-12-14 Last updated: 2011-12-21Bibliographically approved

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