Conference Agenda

Overview and details of the sessions of this conference. Please select a date or location to show only sessions at that day or location. Please select a single session for detailed view (with abstracts and downloads if available).

Session Overview
PP-We-am-GB2: Parallel papers Wednesday morning Conference Room 1
Wednesday, 03/Jul/2019:
11:00am - 1:00pm

Session Chair: Dian Diaan Muniroh
Location: Green Brain Conference Room 2
Conference room 16.07.07

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Language, crime, law, computers and all other powerful instruments: digitising police investigative interviewing?

Monwabisi Ralarala, Ephias Ruhode, Melo Forchu, Waldon Hendricks, Sandiso Mchiza

Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa

Existing research in police interviewing and record construction has captured the attention of linguists, forensic linguists, sociolinguists as well as information technology experts (Rock 2001; Heydon 2012; Cleary 2014; Ralarala 2014; Harding and Ralarala 2017). Findings from these studies suggest that the current model of police investigative interviewing is filled with flaws, and thus open to manipulation and distortions. In the backdrop of this flawed process, the argument in this study is on introducing cutting edge technology in the interviewing and record construction process. The present study reflects on the development of a digital police investigative interviewing meant to carry important functions: (i) integrated audio visual system which carries complainant's original message, (ii) printed sworn-in statements from machine-translated scripts in various languages and (iii) a dedicated interview recording and storage system for law enforcement. Through the design science methodology, this research will be broken up into two different parts, that is the all-encompassing research and the underlying design and build phase that will produce an artificial intelligence artefact through natural language processing. This methodological choice will involve seven steps, namely, problem identification, understanding and motivation, identifying the objectives, concept design, design science research artefact design and development, artefact evaluation and communication (Hevner et al. 2004). Expected outcomes include a revolutionised police interviewing system which will be fully automated. Theoretically, the design science methodology, which steps outside of the traditional boxes with collaborative processes in order to find new solutions, will be a major contribution to studies of social phenomena.


Doreen Elsie Jane Losala Gersava, Michelle Amolar Desierto

University of Santo Tomas

Police officers take important roles in the law and order. Being the first point of contact, their primary duties are to enforce the law, protect the people, and ensure public order. They are instituted to perform the judicial procedures like arresting, interviewing and writing of criminal reports. In the Philippines, the police have been critically mediatized in different adverse angles. And though there have been issues of power manipulation, exploitation and mistreatment, there are very limited studies that explore this branch of the legal institution (especially) in the lens of forensic linguistics. And for the record, this study is considered to be groundbreaking since this is one of the first forensic linguistic researches on police interviews in the Philippines. This analyzes the transcribed audio recordings of police interviews to help identify the police language or ‘policespeak’ in the interview discourse in the Philippine justice system by using the frameworks of Heydon (2005); Gibbons (2008); Holt and Johnson (2010); Hall (2004); Fairclough (1989); and, Fairclough and Wodak (1997). This examines (1) the structure of opening and closing statements, (2) question types, (3) terms and phrases used to establish rapport and authority, and (4) manifestations of power. The results show that opening and closing remarks do not follow any procedural conventions, there is a dominant use of WH and Yes/No questions, and there are distinct sets of Filipino politeness expressions to establish rapport, and threats to establish authority. Overall, this demonstrates the need for increased awareness of sociolinguistic variables in police interviews.

An Investigation of the Translation Quality of Financial Legislation: A Case Study of the Securities Exchange Act

Pi-Chan Hu

Fu Jen Catholic University, Taiwan

With the development of internationalization and globalization, more and more enterprises operate across national borders. The number and size of the listed companies in Taiwan are getting larger and larger. As the amount of foreign capital investment rapidly expands, it takes up such a great share of the stock market that we should make the investment environment friendlier to foreign investors. Therefore, an accurate English version of the Securities Exchange Act (SEA) is essential since a good quality English translation of the SEA will facilitate the legal compliance of foreign investors and all of the stakeholders, strengthening their protection.

First of all, a close examination of the origin and the development of the SEA was conducted to provide a clear picture of its current condition. It is always important to know the background of any specific type of law to understand how to make a precise translation of a term or phrase. Then, we performed a comparative text analysis of a source text and a target text (ST-TT), and found a number of problems such as inconsistency and errors in syntax and lexicons. Employing a revised model of translation quality assessment proposed by House, we investigated the translation quality of the SEA. Following the assessment, we would propose approaches to prevent legal translators from making similar mistakes, thus enhancing the quality of the translated legislation.

The linguistic limits to cross examination: The case of State v Omotoso

Zakeera Docrat1, Russell Harold Kaschula2

1Rhodes University, South Africa; 2Rhodes University, South Africa

This paper analyses the case of State v Omotoso (2018). The facts are that a Nigerian Pastor of a charismatic church in South Africa had been charged with 63 charges of rape, sexual assault, racketeering and 34 alternate charges. The case places the power of language and the use of taboo and euphemisms (or lack thereof) at the center between the defence, key witnesses and the Judge. This paper contends that the defence crossed the line by asking explicit questions irrelevant to the case, with the purpose of traumatising the complainant, rather than simply discrediting her version of the crimes in question.

South African law prohibits the badgering of witnesses in sensitive cases such as rape. Advocates are guided by the Code of Conduct: Uniform Rules of Professional Ethics of the General Bar Council of South Africa, which prescribes that only relevant and necessary questions are asked in discrediting the witnesses’ version. Schwickkard and Van der Merwe (2010) argue that often the boundaries of cross-examination are pushed to the limit. In the case of S v Baleka (1988) the court held that “… situations where cross-examination is abused and degenerates to a treadmill of repetition and a quagmire of irrelevancies…” courts have the power to curtail such cross-examination.

Against the sociolinguistic, constitutional, legislative and policy frameworks, the authors argue that the current line of cross-examination has the power to discourage complainants from reporting serious crimes, where the power of language is abused.

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