Courtroom Questioning Adapted to Legal Procedures

  •  Hu Haijuan    


This paper, taking linguistic theory of adaptation as its theoretical foundation, examines how courtroom questioning on the part of the judge is adapted to various contextual factors in legal setting. To account for the judge’s adaptation to the legal procedures in courtroom questioning, three types of questions are found as specific choices at different stages of courtroom trial. By choosing key-word questions, confirmation questions and consultative questions in accordance with the different legal procedures, the judge can decide a case confidently, therefore the institutional goal of solemnity, impartiality and effectiveness are achieved satisfactorily. This paper provides a new understanding of courtroom questioning in Chinese context, which will be a contribution to the general research on forensic linguistics and a pragmatic approach to the rhetoric of questioning in general.

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