Publication details [#62314]

Chaemsaithong, Krisda. 2017. Speech reporting in courtroom opening statements. Journal of Pragmatics 119 : 1–14.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher


This inquiry critically explores the practice of speech reporting in the monologic genre of courtroom opening statements. Using the opening statements of three high-profile trials, this inquiry examines the form, function, and frequency of reported utterances that manifest within the opening statement. It is disclosed that the opening statement is a very heteroglossic genre, and the inclusion of voices is pragmatically inspired, serving five functions: contextualizing, disaligning, evidential, narrative and discourse organizing. Reanimation of voices allows lawyers to generate and negotiate various realities and adds to making the opening statement truly argumentative.