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Year : 2018  |  Volume : 4  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 31-39

Narrative study on witnesses' involvement in their statements

Department of English, School of Foreign Languages, China University of Political Science and Law, Beijing, China

Correspondence Address:
Luping Zhang
Department of English, School of Foreign Languages, China University of Political Science and Law, Fuxue Lu 27, Changping District, Beijing, 102249
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/jfsm.jfsm_88_17

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The present study, based on Labov's narrative theory, focuses on how witnesses' involvement affects their narrative reconstruction of the criminal case. Witnesses' involvement is first subcategorized, and there are two circumstances concerning their involvements, one being single suspect versus victim(s) crime and the other multiple suspects versus victim(s) crime. The present study takes four witness statements from a single suspect malicious injury case as data to further analyze the effects exerted by different witness involvements on witness statements and their corresponding representations. Results of the analysis indicate that how witnesses are involved in the criminal event exert different effects on witness statements in three aspects as follows: narrative structure, participant distribution, and language strategies. The results of this study further revealed that the more legal responsibility a witness is likely to take for the criminal event, the more transformations he would make in his narrative reconstruction of the crime.

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