The role of the addressee in the jury trial discourse

Olga Krapivkina, Irkutsk National Research Technical University, Russia;     Abstract: The role of the addressee as a factor determining discourse of legal professionals is analyzed. The important role of this communicative factor makes it necessary to account for the effect of the addressee on jury trial discourse production, to identify linguistic and cognitive mechanisms optimizing the communicative interaction of courtroom participants. The focus on the addressee, his/her phenomenological experience and knowledge makes legal discourse dialogical, and intensifies their interactive characteristics. Special attention is paid to the use of lay concepts instead of legal terms. The former ones form the shared interpretation context when legal professionals interact with lay persons. Clarity of opening and closing statements depends on the ability of the speaker to switch from the professional code to the lay language, define legal terms through lay concepts. The novelty of the research is due to the choice of the research trajectory – the addressee is considered as a crucial factor of courtroom discourse production. The perlocutionary effect of communication depends on the ability of the speaker to accommodate to lay participants, to knowledge and expectations of the lay audience.


Key words: addressee, courtroom discourse, lay audience, asymmetry, legal terms, lay concepts.



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