Berättelser med sanningsanspråk : Språklig och multimodal argumentation i huvudförhandling och dom

Sammanfattning: The pupose is tio study stories about crime, mythopoesis, via the modalities of speech, text and image and ti problematise movements of texts that originate in other contexts and institutions. The study examines how and why rhetorical strategies are used to legitimise and delegitimise the content of speeches, texts and images in trials and how relations of influence occur between plaintiffs and defendants in written judgements. The study also examines actor roles and interaction  between participants, how authority is negotiated and how technology affects trials.The material consists of 14 audio recordings and investigative reports from three district court trials and 27 judgements. The study combines analyses of speech, texts and images with critical discourse analysis (CDA), social semiotics and legitimation theory as a theoretical framework. The methods are taken from CDA and are based on systemic-functional grammar. The research questions deal with legitimation, recontextualisations, relations of influence, verbal and non-verbal communication between participants, and the influence of technology in the trials. Some results stand out. Rhetorical strategies from Roman law are still applied. The genre now includes modern technology and multimodal texts that change the ways of communication. In addition, texts that are recontextualised can lead to mixture of voices. Lawyers use rhetorical strategies in oral arguments to prove, disprove, create doubt, and transfer guilt and responsibility. Recontextualised texts are surrounded with explanatory contexts that increase their comprehensibility during the trial. Through conscious selection, the content and use of certain verb processescan be legitimised in stories that benefit one's own case or assignment or delegitimised in stories that disadvantage the assignment or case. The power to interpret the content of speeches, texts and images during trials lies with the lawyers. Plaintiffs, defendants and witnesses have limited power over the content of the stories - mythopoesis - about perpetrators and victims, but the interviewees can regulate their stories by using a selection of verbal and non-verbal language acts. In summary, the study shows how language and content are shaped, regulated and recontextualised in practice in trials and judgements.