Africa and Applied Linguistics: AILA Review, Volume 16
  • ISSN 1461-0213
  • E-ISSN: 1570-5595
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The aim of this paper is to analyse the nature of the courtroom discourse in an African context. The nature of courtroom discourse has been extensively discussed and and analysed in non-African contexts. This paper, however, makes a unique contribution by analysing the nature of courtroom discourse in multilingual courts in Southern Africa. The contribution is unique because it investigates the probematic nature of courtroom interpretation, using the theoretical notion of crosstalk, in multilingual communities when the communicative styles of the participants are divergent and conflicting. More significantly the paper illustrates the potential impact of a special register hlonipha-the language of respect for women. The paper concludes by looking at ways in which through register we can intrerrogate power relations in courtroom discourse and examine the implications of such power discrepancy on the delivery of justice.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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