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Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780190669898

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190669898.001.0001

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Deceptive Ambiguity in Language Elements of the Inverted Pyramid

Deceptive Ambiguity in Language Elements of the Inverted Pyramid

Chapter:
(p.193) 8 Deceptive Ambiguity in Language Elements of the Inverted Pyramid
Source:
Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190669898.003.0008

This chapter provides an overview of the uses of deceptive ambiguity by representatives of the government, including police, prosecutors, undercover agents, and complainants. The chapter summarizes the findings of the preceding chapters under the six categories of speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, and lexicon/grammar. These language elements make up what is referred to here as the Inverted Pyramid, a sequential approach to analyzing language evidence that is used by representatives of the government during their criminal investigations, hearings, and trials. These six language elements, when viewed as a whole, range from larger language units to smaller ones and provide the discourse context in which the government’s perceptions of smoking gun evidence must be seen.

Keywords:   deceptive ambiguity, speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, inverted pyramid, discourse context

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