ON COURT PROCEEDINGS: A FORENSIC LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS ON MAXIM VIOLATION

Crystel T. Ceballos, Rowena V. Sosas

Abstract

Employing forensic linguistic analysis, this qualitative study describes violations on conversational maxims in Philippine court proceedings. Twenty transcripts of riminal cases from the Regional Trial Court of Kidapawan City, Philippines were used as corpora in this study. It was found that the four maxims of conversation – quantity, quality, relation, and manner are violated during court trials. Violations of maxim on quantity occur when witnesses provide more than enough information and not enough information to answer questions. Violations of maxim on quality, on the other hand, occur when witnesses provide hearsay or use words/phrases that indicate uncertainty such as I think, maybe, and perhaps. Maxim on relation is violated when witnesses provide irrelevant answers to questions. Violations of the maxim of manner occur when witnesses respond vaguely or have their answers stated in a long drawn-out way. The findings of this study show that violations of cooperative maxim in conversation cause the message conveyed to be misleading and this results in further court discussion and long drawn cross examination. Violating a maxim suggests that the conversation participants are careless and sloppy thus they can be understood as troubled, baffled and confused.

Keywords: Court proceedings, forensic linguistics, maxims of conversation, Philippines, transcript of stenographic notes

Cite as: Ceballos, C.T & Sosas, R.V. (2018). On court proceedings: A forensic linguistic analysis on maxim violation. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 3(2), 17-31. http://dx.doi.org/10.24200/jonus.vol3iss2pp17-31

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