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Legal-Lay CommunicationTextual Travels in the Law$
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Chris Heffer, Frances Rock, and John Conley

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199746842

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199746842.001.0001

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The Transformation of Discourse in Emergency Calls to the Police

The Transformation of Discourse in Emergency Calls to the Police

(p.35) Chapter 2 The Transformation of Discourse in Emergency Calls to the Police
Legal-Lay Communication

Mark Garner

Edward Johnson

Oxford University Press

Telephone calls to the police initiate much police activity, provide vital intelligence and shape police-public relations. In order to understand the discourse of such calls, this chapter examines the ‘longitudinal’ patterning of the linguistic actions and interactions which they initiate. Thus, the chapter’s point of departure is the interconnectedness of the call to a range of organisational and operational contexts. The chapter outlines a framework which examines textual travel at the levels of communicative acts, events, links and constellations. Through this framework the authors build a picture of calls to the police which recognises the changing forms and purposes of texts in the police operational domain and the culmination of textual travel in the accomplishment or abandonment of a police response.

Keywords:   emergency calls, 999, 911, police, operational communication, communicative constellations

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