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Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors - Oxford Scholarship Online
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Deceptive Ambiguity by Police and Prosecutors

Roger W. Shuy


Much is written about how criminal suspects, defendants, and undercover targets use ambiguous language in their interactions with police, prosecutors, and undercover agents. This book examines the other side of the coin, describing fifteen criminal investigations demonstrating how police, prosecutors, undercover agents, and complainants use deceptive ambiguity with their subjects, which leads to misrepresentations of the speech events, schemas, agendas, speech acts, lexicon, and grammar. These misrepresentations affect the perceptions of judges and juries about the subjects’ motives, predispos ... More

Keywords: deceptive ambiguity, sincerity, intentionality, predisposition, voluntariness, interviews, questioning

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2017 Print ISBN-13: 9780190669898
Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: October 2017 DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190669898.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Roger W. Shuy, author
Distinguished Research Professor of Linguistics, Georgetown University