Trial discourse and manuscript context
Scribal profiles in the Salem witchcraft records
The present paper underscores the importance of examining the original manuscripts and their context(s) of production, with specific reference to the wealth of documentary material produced in connection with the Salem witchcraft outbreak of 1692. The background to this study is an international project to publish a chronologically structured edition of this material. One central aspect of this work is a reassessment of the role of scribes in the production of these documents. As shown in the paper, scribal profiles can be reconstructed by means of linguistic and palæographic analysis. Specifically, the linguistic and scribal features of two relevant genres (depositions and indictments) are explored here in the light of the 1692 Salem documents.
Keywords: courtroom discourse, colonial period, legal genres, handwriting, scribes
Published online: 06 February 2007
Cited by 13 other publications
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