KIJHUS Volume. 3, Issue 1 (2022)


Bamigbola Esther Olayinka


Police interrogation suspect criminal communicative strategies pragmatics

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Abstract: People of different characters make up the society. As we have the good ones, so also, we have the bad ones. The first category constitutes the good citizens while those in the second group are mostly labelled as accused persons. Under the law, an accused person is not yet a criminal until some facts of allegation have been levelled and proved against such a person. The interrogation techniques police employ to deduce facts from an accused person involve the use of language. In order to encourage professional use of language in crime detection and control, the aim of this study is to explore relevant pragmatic strategies for optimal policing and crime management. Seven recorded interrogations on a single case were sourced from a police station in Akure, Ondo State, Nigeria. The recorded interrogations were transcribed into texts. The pragmatic strategies examined include politeness, deixis, face threatening and face-saving acts. This work, being a descriptive study, adopts an eclectic approach. The pragmatic models of Goffman (1967), Searle (1969), Lakoff (1973), Leech (1983), Levinson (1983), Grice (1989) and Yule (1996) form the bases for the analyses. The study observed that the identified pragmatic features are used by the police as basic tools for obtaining the truth during interrogations and recommended the use of modern approaches to enhance police duties of curtailing crime to the lowest ebb in the society. Also, the study sensitizes accused persons on what to expect during police questionings and how