Analyzing Counsel/Witness Discourse in Nnewi, Anambra State, Nigeria
AbstractThis paper analyzed counsel/witness discourse using the High Court in
Nnewi Municipal Council. Specifically, it described the structure and
organization of counsel/witness discourse in the courtroom context
highlighting some discourse features inherent in them, and observed the
communication strategies and motivation of participants towards each other
and towards the subject matter. The methodology used in collecting data for
this research was non-participant observation. The data were used to
illustrate certain discourse/pragmatic features in the exchange; including the
structures- -transaction, exchange, moves and act – and the strategies used
by participants in negotiating meaning. The findings of this study reveal that
(1) Initiation – Response (IR) structure was the predominant exchange
structure (2) that the counsel initiates exchanges and controls discourse
while the witness does not; (3) that the witness replies cooperatively when
questions help to further his cause .The conclusion of the paper summarized
the discourse structure and organization observed in the study.
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