An Analysis of Police Interrogation from the Perspective of Presupposition: A Case Study of Jodi Arias Case
Keywords:Presupposition, Police Interrogation, Presupposition Triggers, Jodi Arias Case
Nowadays, as crimes have become increasingly complicated, it is difficult for interrogators to find out all the criminal facts before interrogation, so that interrogation becomes a significant process to clear up some facts and prove whether the interrogated is guilty or not. However, some criminals always conceal the criminal facts and resist interrogation. This difficulty decides that interrogators need some interrogatory skills to elicit some criminal facts from the suspect. Presupposition is one of the interrogatory skills frequently used by interrogators so that it is very necessary to study interrogatory language from the perspective of presupposition. However, the literature review indicates that few research studies police interrogation from the perspective of presupposition. Therefore, this paper is to apply presupposition theory classified by Yule (2000) to analyze interrogatory language in Jodi Arias case. Specifically, it is to analyze how interrogators make use of presuppositions to elicit more information and explore the functions of presuppositions in investigatory interrogation. In order to address the problem, this paper employs both quantitative and qualitative method to analyze police interrogation in Jodi Arias case. The results show that there are five types of presuppositions identified in the selected data, that is, existential presupposition, factive presupposition, lexical presupposition, structural presupposition, counter-factual presupposition, and their frequency varies from each other. Secondly, presupposition enables the interrogatory language to be more concise and euphemistic and presupposition help the interrogators increase the pervasive effect and presupposition can help set a trap for the suspect to admit his or her guilt. This study will enlarge the application scope of presupposition and even linguistics and help interrogator employ presupposition into interrogation and improve their interrogation skills.
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