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POWER RELATIONS IN COURTROOM LANGUAGE

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TABLE OF CONTENTS

Title page……………………………………………………….….i

Certification ……………………………………………………….ii

Dedication………………………………………………………….iii

Acknowledgement…………………………………………………iv

Table of contents…………………………………………………..v

CHAPTER ONE

1.0 Introduction ……………………………………………………1

1.1 Background of the Study………………………………………..1-4

1.2 Statement of the Research Problem…………………………….5

1.3 Aim and Objective………………………………………………..5

1.4 Significant of the Study………………………………………….6

1.6 Purpose of the Study………………………………………….…6

1.7 Scope and Limitation…………………………………………….6

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CHAPTER TWO

LITERATURE REVIEW

2.0 INTRODUCTION

2.1 Concept of Language………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 7

2.0.1 Social Interaction………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 8

2.0.2 Emotion………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 8-9

2.2 Varieties of Language/Registers………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 9-10

2.3 Description of Legal Language……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 11-12

2.4 Characteristics of the Written Language and Law……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 14-18

2.5 Types of Legal Language……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 18-22

2.6 Courtroom Discourse……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 22-25

2.7 Language and Power……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 26-27

2.8 Theoretical Framework……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 27-29

CHAPTER THREE

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3.0 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 30

3.1 Sources of Data……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 30

3.2 Method of Data Collection……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 30

3.3 Population Sampling……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

3.4 Sample and Sampling Technique……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

3.5 Analytical Procedures……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 31

CHAPTER FOUR

4.0 INTRODUCTION……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 32

4.1 Data Analysis……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 33-38

4.2 Interpretation of Data……………………………………………………………………………………………………………….. 38

4.3 Summary……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 39-40

4.4 Conclusion……………………………………………………………………………………………………………… 40-41

4.5 Reference

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CHAPTER ONE

1.0    INTRODUCTION

This project is on the power relation in courtroom language. Chapter one covers the general overview of the subject matter. It comprises the background to study, statement of research problems, aim and objective of the study, purpose of the study, significance of the study and scope and limitations.

1.1 Background of the Study

Language has been identified as the “primary medium of social control and power” Fairclough (1989) most notable in legal settings where language is used in away to facilitate control through the exercise of power. A person that wields power or influence anyone does it by the potency of language.

Language is central to human existence because human language is distinct and remarkable .The uniqueness of language which is ability to communicate is what Hickerson(1980)says makes possible most of the other behavior which we think of as uniquely human.

There have been many speculations as to the origin of language. There are three (3) sources that point to the origin of language. According to Yule (2003) they are; the divine sources, the natural source and the oral source.

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The divine source is of the view that language came when Adam in the Bible was given the authority to name all living things. The theory also posits that there is a divine source that provides human beings with language. Few experiments have been carried out in an attempt to prove this with conflicting results. A quite different view on the beginning of human speech is based on the concept of the natural source. Scholars who hold this view are of the opinion that language came as a result of the imitation of the sounds around human. Sounds referred to the object associated with them. The oral gesture theory is yet another. It involves a link between physical gesture and orally produced sounds. It claims that originally, a set of physical gestures was developed as a means of communication.

All these are speculations that have not been proven. Language serves as the vehicle with which man dominates his environment. Man has the ability to use system of sounds in which symbols are related to each other i.e. Language and it is this language that man uses to carry out various activities. According to Edward Sapir (1921) language is a ‘’purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions and desires by means of a system of a system of voluntarily produced symbol’’. By this definition, only humans possess language.

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They make use of symbol; these symbols are auditory and are produced by some Speech organs.

Hall (1969) defines language as the institution whereby humans communicate and interact with each other by means of habitually used oral-auditory symbols.

This is similar to Gimson(1980) who defines language as ‘’a system of conventional signals for communicating by a whole community’. Language therefore is a means by which humans communicate in the society.

Human society cannot exist without language since language is purely a human activity and communication in itself is the essence of humanity.

Every language exists in a number of varieties. According to Hudson (1980; 24)

A variety is ‘’a set of linguistics items with similar distributions’’. Going by this definition, we can say that languages have varieties. We have language of politics, language of science, language of law, language of sports, language of technology, etc. For the purpose of this study, we will focus on the language of legalese and how it wields power. The law society has established norms and values that govern and pattern the behavior of its members and machinery

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for enforcing these is language. Language therefore plays an important role in law making, preservation and enforcement. Language of law connotes power and influence. Power as related to language is the measurement or the ability of an entity to control his environment, including the behavior of other entities. The exercise of power is accepted as endemic to human as social beings. It is a form of social control.

According to Wikipedia, the free Encyclopedia, word ‘court’ comes from the rench word ‘cour’ an enclosed yard, which derives from the Latin form ‘cortem’ which also means an enclosed yard.

The meaning of a judiciary assembly is first attested to in the

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