The Language of Bribery Cases

ISBN : 9780199945139

Roger W. Shuy
288 ページ
148 x 216 mm

In The Language of Bribery Cases, Roger W. Shuy analyzes the role that language plays in bribery cases. He describes twelve court cases for which he served as an expert witness or consultant and explains the issues at stake in each of these cases, for both lawyers and linguists. The cases described include the bribery or alleged bribery of United States senators, congressmen, judges, businessmen, and brothel owners. Shuy describes the often-unused linguistic analytical tools that are available to both the prosecution and defense as they argue these cases. He illustrates how grammatical referencing, speech acts, discourse structure, framing, conveyed meaning, and intentionality can be useful, describing how these tools affected the outcomes of the particular cases discussed in this book. The cases, fascinating in their own right, offer valuable insights not only to linguists, but also to lawyers who argue bribery cases, many of whom may not be aware of the linguistic tools available to them.


1 Introduction to the language of bribery
2 Bribery: a brief history and background
3 The linguistic tools for dealing with bribery
4 The crystal-clear bribery events of U. S. Congressmen Ozzie Myers and Richard Kelly
5 The aborted bribery event of U. S. Senator Larry Pressler
6 The camouflaged bribery events of businessmen Kenneth McDonald and Milton McGregor
7 The bribery event that continued after the target said "no": the case of U. S. Senator Harrison A. Williams
8 The entrapment bribery event of taxpayer Vaughn Sligh
9 The business transaction event that morphed into a bribery event: the case of Texas state legislator Billy Clayton
10 The bungled rejection of a bribery event by Nevada brothel commissioners John Poli and John McNown
11 The coded bribery event of Federal Judge Alcee Hastings
12 The manipulated bribery event of businessman Paul Manziel
13 The bribery event that never happened: the case of businessman Vernon Drabek
14 The role of linguistic analysis in bribery cases
15 The legal context of bribery language and law


Roger W. Shuy is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University and the author of ten books on language and law. Over the years has consulted on some 600 civil and criminal law cases and has testified at many federal, state trials as well as at the International Criminal Tribunal and before the US Congress on impeachment hearings.