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Legal-Lay CommunicationTextual Travels in the Law$
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Chris Heffer, Frances Rock, and John Conley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.001.0001

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“Every Link in the Chain”

“Every Link in the Chain”

The Police Interview as Textual Intersection

Chapter:
(p.78) Chapter 4 “Every Link in the Chain”
Source:
Legal-Lay Communication
Author(s):

Frances Rock

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.003.0004

Witness statements are typically produced, in England and Wales as elsewhere, through dialogue between a police officer and a witness which enables the officer scribe for the witness. We might expect that this process would predominantly involve transforming the witness’ speech into writing. However a surprising range of voices other than those of witnesses can be identified in witness statements. Rock’s case study illustrates the diversity of sources which come to influence just one statement. She examines interview talk in order to demonstrate how texts from elsewhere in the investigation, from the wider legal system and even from the media penetrate the witness’ statement. She considers the functions and such textual travel drawing on Smith’s notion of intertextual hierarchy (2005; 2006).

Keywords:   witness statement, interview, intertextuality, hierarchy, recontextualisation, resources

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