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Evolution in Genre

Emergence, Variation, Multimodality

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Edited By Paola Evangelisti Allori, John Bateman and Vijay K. Bhatia

The notion of ‘genre’ has established itself as a key concept in many disciplines and fields as a means of describing social action and/or recurring patterns of form. Recent social and technological changes are driving the emergence of new genres, the evolution of traditional ones as well as variation within them. In this volume a range of approaches addressing the evolution of genre are presented. Many draw on corpus analysis of the lexicogrammatical features employed in the communicative artefacts addressed; several extend traditional corpus analysis to include non-linguistic or extra-linguistic features involved in multimodal communication. Connections with social theories are discussed, as is the notion of families or groups of genres co-existing within broader constellations. Genres are examined in detail for their linguistic and non-linguistic realisations and forms of expression across related genres and within the ‘same’ genre when subjected to differing social or medial constraints or possibilities. In all cases, we see how genre continues to function as an effective tool for following communication as it, its contexts of use, and its social functions evolve.
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Trial Proceeding Transcripts as Genre: Decontextualization and Recontextualization: Michela Giordano

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MICHELA GIORDANO

Trial Proceeding Transcripts as Genre: Decontextualization and Recontextualization

1.Introduction

Trial proceeding transcripts represent a rapidly expanding area of research within legal communication. The use of audio, video and digital recordings have been accepted at various points of time as official records for trial proceedings. However, despite continual development in sophisticated technology, and its ablity to provide truthful and more reliable documentation of what happens in the courtroom, the issue regarding the use of technological support in courts still remains highly controversial. Nevertheless, a court reporter still has the task of producing a written version from the tape recording, especially if a judicial decision has been appealed against. As a consequence, “the written record continues to reign supreme” (Tiersma 1999: 179).

Court reporters create verbatim transcripts of the trials, thus playing a critical role in Common Law courts where the spoken word must be preserved in the form of a written record. The latter will become in turn an “authoritative written text” (Tiersma 1999: 177).

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