Volume 19, Issue 2
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854



The investigation of the pragmatic marker in trial proceedings from 1560 to 1800 shows a genre-specific usage profile with regard to its uses and functions. Courtroom “professionals” (lawyers, judges and other officials) use significantly more frequently than lay speakers (witnesses, victims and defendants). The former use it to segment and highlight stages in the argumentation, as well as to control and to disalign with others’ interactive behaviour. Self-defending litigants share these functional preferences to some extent, while all other lay persons use for structuring their answers and dominantly in direct-speech contexts. in professional legal speech thus functions as a strategic metapragmatic framing strategy.

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