Discourse Control Strategies in Police-Suspect Interrogation in Nigeria


  •  Raifu Farinde    
  •  Oluranti Olajuyigbe    
  •  Adegbite Matthew    

Abstract

This study examined the discourse control strategies in the use of English in police-suspect interrogation in Nigeria with a view to identifying the themes in the interrogation discourse and discussing the pragmatic functions of the dominant discourse control strategies employed by the police interrogators. The data gathered were transcribed and analysed, using Thomas' metapragmatic model. The result indicated that assault, affray, house breaking, obtaining by false pretence (419), abduction, and robbery were the common themes in the discourse. Analysis revealed further that the investigating police officers (IPOs) employed illocutionary force indicating devices for intimidation and coercion of suspects while they used discoursal indicators, meta-discoursal comments, and upshots and reformulations as discourse control strategies. The study concluded that police-suspect interrogation is largely slanted in favour of the police interrogators and that police interrogation is a peculiar discourse genre where there is interplay of power asymmetry and dominance.



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