A Transitivity Analysis of the Courtroom Discourse: A Case Study of Jodi Arias Trial

https://doi.org/10.32996/ijllt.2021.4.5.28

Authors

  • Mengna Liu Graduate student school of English for International Business, Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, Guangzhou, Chin
  • Jinshi Chen Center for Linguistics and Applied Linguistics; Guangdong University of Foreign Studies, China

Keywords:

Transitivity analysis; courtroom discourse; Jodi Aria case

Abstract

Court discourse is a typical institutional discourse, recently arousing scholars’ interest.  Systemic-functional approach provides an important perspective to investigate the court discourse, among which transitivity that involves the construal of experiential meaning is a significant tool in the analysis. However, it is still unknown how experiential meanings are construed through different process types in American courtroom discourse. Therefore, this paper will take the case of Jodi Arias’ murder as an example and investigate the courtroom discourse from the perspective of transitivity. In this study, two research questions will be focused on: (1) What is the distribution of six transitivity processes in the courtroom of Jodi Arias’ murder case? (2) What are the functions of six processes for each courtroom participant in the courtroom of Jodi Arias’ murder case? After the detailed analysis, two conclusions are reached: (1) The paper finds that the major processes in the courtroom is the material, mental, relational, and verbal process. The behavioural process and the existential process is least or none in the courtroom discourse. (2) Second, the processes have their own functions in the courtroom discourse. The findings can help improve people’s understanding of American courtroom discourse and enhance American courtroom communication.

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Published

2021-05-31

How to Cite

Liu, M., & Chen, J. . (2021). A Transitivity Analysis of the Courtroom Discourse: A Case Study of Jodi Arias Trial. International Journal of Linguistics, Literature and Translation, 4(5), 253-262. https://doi.org/10.32996/ijllt.2021.4.5.28