Journal of West African Languages

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Impoliteness in Police-Suspect Interaction in Ibadan, Nigeria Impoliteness in Police-Suspect Interaction in Ibadan, Nigeria

Police-Suspect interaction, PSI, is a fact-finding   activity undertaken by the police to seek confessions and develop details about crimes. During PSI, Investigating Police Officers, (IPOs), employ linguistic tools to manipulate suspects, especially low-profile suspects, LPSs, wield power over them, and often violate their fundamental human rights during the process. Existing works on PSI in Nigeria have concerned themselves with the identification of discourse acts as elicitation, accusation and reply in PSI. This work, therefore, examines the linguistic impoliteness strategies observed in PSI in Ibadan, Nigeria, within the theoretical purview of Culpeper’s Impoliteness Theory. The data comprise eight cases involving LPSs including incest, attempted murder, threat to life and malicious damage, among others, gathered via participant and non participant observation methods in the State Criminal Investigation Department, Iyaganku Division, Ibadan, Nigeria between 2012 and 2014. The data are subjected to content and critical analysis. IPOs employ the withhold politeness impoliteness, the positive impoliteness, the negative impoliteness and the mock politeness strategies to threaten the faces of LPSs, and ultimately overwhelm them while seeking confessions from them. In PSI, while the IPOs assume a +power position, LPSs are relegated to the -power position.


Volume Number 43.2
Topic #1 Discourse
Topic #2 Sociolinguistics
Author This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Language English
Language Family Creoles and Pidgins
Subject Language Pidgin English

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