My friends and I have now read and discussed the first part of Introducing Forensic Linguistics by Malcolm Coulthard and Alison Johnson.
It is written by Alison Johnson, who is a senior police officer as well as a linguist. This part describes and explains the peculiar qualities of the language used in legal institutions, arguing that what seems to the layman to be unnecessarily complex and verbose language has to be so, as the law has to cover all the possibilities.
One of the most interesting points to come out of the analysis of the language used in all stages of the legal process is the “hybrid” nature of many the texts, both written and spoken. Continue reading