POWER RELATIONS IN COURTROOM LANGUAGE

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POWER RELATIONS IN COURTROOM LANGUAGE
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.

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.

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