Police Interviews

Communication challenges and solutions

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This collection breaks new ground in police communication research. It involves the first instance of the same dataset being analysed from different theoretical and methodological perspectives as well as providing original and detailed insights into both monolingual and bilingual UK police interviews and US police interrogations of suspects. The topics include the role of metacommunication and its appropriate vs. inappropriate use in evidence elicitation, assessment of mitigation vs. aggravation strategies in questioning, identification of right vs. wrong empathy and the importance of getting it right, effects on complexity in police speak on quantity and quality of information obtained, and the multiple challenges that affect interpreter-mediated exchanges in this highly sensitive communicative context. All levels of linguistic meaning are covered, words, constructions, sentences, discourse, and contextualised within psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic knowledge about inferencing, emotion, and social interaction. This holistic approach helps us explain where, when and why communicative conflicts arise in this sensitive context and propose concrete practical solutions to resolve them. This volume will be useful and relevant to both academics, students and researchers, and to professionals in the domains of language and the law. Originally published as special issue of Pragmatics and Society 10:1 (2019).

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