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Perspektiv i polisprotokoll Perspective in Police Reports

by Persson, Gunilla Almström

Abstract (Summary)

The subject of this study is perspective in police reports. The overall aim is to introduce new tools for analysing perspective in written narratives. The material consists of reports based on different accounts of the same conflict from a number of people (the suspect, the injured part and witnesses), that is, different versions of the same sequence of events. The study begins with a theoretical discussion of perspective in literary texts and of some characteristics of the police reports examined. Two tools are developed to analyse linguistic means for identifying perspective.

The first analytical tool can be placed within the framework of cognitive semantics. Analysis here concerns seeing space differently and having different limits in one’s way of experiencing the sequence of events. This conceptualisation of the focaliser (the person whose perspective is reported) is realised in the text through certain spatial expressions associated with the concept of centre. To analyse the centres chosen, the image schema centre–periphery is used in examining instances of the adverbs fram and bort and their derivations.

The second analytical tool can be placed within the theoretical framework of dramaturgy. Analysis here concerns perceiving the dramatic development of events differently, that is, dramatic patterns in the different versions of the conflict and which character is given the most active role in it. The differences can be seen in the focaliser’s choice of events and how aggression is consciously or unconsciously described in terms of how different characters cause the conflict to escalate.

The hypothesis being tested is whether the suspect’s perspective is discernible in the report of the suspect’s account. The hypothesis is confirmed. The study shows that the tools introduced work successfully in the analysis of perspective. Both analyses yield results, which in both cases can be validated.

Bibliographical Information:

Advisor:

School:Stockholms universitet

School Location:Sweden

Source Type:Doctoral Dissertation

Keywords:HUMANITIES and RELIGION; Languages and linguistics; Scandinavian languages; centre; drama structure; focalisation; narratology; perspective; police reports; Swedish; nordiska språk; Scandinavian Languages

ISBN:978-91-86071-16-5

Date of Publication:01/01/2009

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