Edited by Ewa Jonsson and Tove Larsson
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 97] 2020
► pp. 153–172
This qualitative and quantitative pilot study investigates the use of different question strategies of varying coerciveness in four different periods in the Old Bailey Corpus. It asks what question strategies are used by which trial participants at what time in the later early and late modern periods of English, using Woodbury’s (1984) continuum of control. Data stems from the Old Bailey Corpus 2.0 and is investigated manually. Results show that compared to the defendants asking questions, which was the practice in earlier periods, the legal practitioners asked more varied questions with broader scopes. These drove the discourse of the court proceedings forward more successfully than the more narrow questions asked by the defendants in the early trials under consideration.