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Title: Lexical struggle in court: Aboriginal Australians versus the state
Contributor(s): Eades, Diana (author)
Publication Date: 2006
DOI: 10.1111/j.1360-6441.2006.00323.x
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Abstract: This paper presents a critical sociolinguistic exploration of the cross‐examination of three young teenage Australian Aboriginal boys in a Queensland court. The boys alleged that they had been abducted by six police officers, so they were prosecution witnesses in the case against the police officers. The paper examines the lexical strategies used by defence counsel to construct these victim‐witnesses as criminals with 'no regard for the community', and to reinterpret the alleged abduction as a consensual car ride. Of greatest concern is the strategy which I term 'lexical perversion'– the rejection of a witness's labelling of their own experience, through overt correction with, or covert substitution of, another lexical item. These lexical strategies are central to the judicial legitimation of neocolonial control by the police over the movements of Aboriginal young people.
Publication Type: Journal Article
Source of Publication: Journal of Sociolinguistics, 10(2), p. 153-180
Publisher: Blackwell Publishing Ltd
Place of Publication: Oxford
ISSN: 1360-6441
Field of Research (FOR): 180119 Law and Society
Peer Reviewed: Yes
HERDC Category Description: C1 Refereed Article in a Scholarly Journal
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Appears in Collections:Journal Article
School of Psychology and Behavioural Science

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