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The Language of Bribery Cases$
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Roger W. Shuy

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945139

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.001.0001

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The crystal-clear bribery events of U.S. Congressmen Ozzie Myers and Richard Kelly

The crystal-clear bribery events of U.S. Congressmen Ozzie Myers and Richard Kelly

Chapter:
(p.70) [4] The crystal-clear bribery events of U.S. Congressmen Ozzie Myers and Richard Kelly
Source:
The Language of Bribery Cases
Author(s):

Roger W. Shuy

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945139.003.0004

To provide a touchstone indicating a felicitous bribery speech event, this chapter reviews two FBI Abscam sting cases of the 1980s. The structure and flow of the speech events in these cases provide crystal clear evidence that the men were guilty of accepting bribes. The language used by Meyers and Kelly matched the structural requirements of the four necessary phases of the bribery speech event: problem, negotiation, offer, and completion, and the internal language units of schemas, agendas, speech acts, and conversational strategies consistently support their “smoking gun” words. In both cases citations from the government’s recorded language evidence illustrate the critical language units that led to the convictions of these two corrupted politicians.

Keywords:   speech event phases, schemas, agendas, speech acts, conversational strategies, smoking guns

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