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Transitivity in Courtroom Language: A Unified Solution

Project description

Delving deeper into the language used in courtrooms

With regard to forensic linguistics, research is lacking in transitivity – a well-known analytical framework used in systemic functional grammar. It is also lacking in the study of wrongful convictions. The EU-funded TICLAUS project will implement critical discourse analysis and corpus linguistics techniques to study language in order to advance theory in the systemic functional linguistics field. This will enhance the two transitivity systems currently used in linguistics. It will also show how a transitivity examination of language use in courts or through informal interviews with rape victims and those who have been wrongfully imprisoned for rape can give a better understanding of how two types of victims interpret their experience.


TICLAUS denotes a research proposal in which four areas are combined, namely Critical Discourse Analysis (CDA), Corpus Linguistics (CL), Forensic Linguistics (FL) and Systemic Functional Linguistics (SFL). The reason for doing so is that the aim here is twofold. On the one hand, TICLAUS strives to make theoretical advances within the field of SFL, through applying CDA and CL methods to analyse language and, thus, improve upon the two transitivity systems currently in use in linguistics. On the other hand, using a revised and enhanced transitivity model, TICLAUS also intends to reveal how a transitivity analysis of language use inside the courtroom and/or through informal interviews with rape victims and individuals who have been wrongfully imprisoned for rape, can provide invaluable insights into how two types of victim represent their experience of victimhood. Given the dearth of transitivity research in FL, in addition to a complete lack of studies that examine wrongful convictions, TICLAUS is clearly innovative. The methodology used in this project is better known as Critical Assisted Discourse Studies (CADS), which consists of a combination of CDA and CL procedures, thus enabling both a quantitative and in-depth qualitative analysis of a large dataset. TICLAUS is considered a high quality proposal as a result of the commitment of all those involved as well as the support from three separate institutions worldwide, all of which are leading universities in their country and further afield. Furthermore, the interdisciplinary nature of this proposal is nurtured by the fact that both supervisors, Professor Taboada and Professor Hidalgo Tenorio, are experts in CDA, CL and SFL whilst the ER, Dr Bartley, is able to contribute her expertise in transitivity and FL.


Net EU contribution
€ 232 497,60
Cuesta del hospicio sn
18071 Granada

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Sur Andalucía Granada
Activity type
Higher or Secondary Education Establishments
Other funding
€ 0,00

Partners (1)