Edited by Guyanne Wilson and Michael Westphal
[Varieties of English Around the World G68] 2023
► pp. 84–106
The paper presents a Critical Discourse Analysis of Jamaican and Trinidadian legal-cross examinations, using data from the International Corpus of English. Although English is the dominant language of the courtroom, the analysis shows that Creole is used by both attorneys and witnesses. In contrast to previous associations of Creole with powerlessness and Standard English with power, attorneys make use of both varieties to exert their authority in the courtroom. Hence, the value of specific linguistic resources and who can use them for which purpose depends on the speakers’ social and institutional positionality. On a methodological level, the paper demonstrates that the International Corpus of English provides valuable data for critical qualitative analyses of language variation in New Englishes.