Publication details [#67235]

Carter, Liz. 2019. Preference organization in PRC criminal trial interaction. Defendant resistance and enforced compliance. Chinese Language and Discourse 10 (2) : 224–240.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


This paper analyzes resistance in the preference organization of criminal trial interaction from a conversation analytic perspective, with examples taken from an 11-hour video corpus of 20 PRC (People’s Republic of China) criminal trials from 2016–2018. Defendants’ dispreferred responses to judges’ questions are then analyzed to determine how resistance is constructed and handled by judges. Defendants are found to construct resistance implicitly and orient to out-of-courtroom stance, objects and topics, while judges respond by reorienting to broader legal matters of guilt and in-court actions. Previous research on PRC criminal trials has focused mainly on questions and turn formulation by judges and procurators (Liao, 2003, 2012; Gao, 2003; Zhang and Jin, 2004; Meng, 2009); this study complements existing research by analyzing defendants’ speech in its interactional context.