Nah i werent just look i werent even look i werent

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nah I weren’t just look- I weren’t even look- I weren’t looking round just talking to the girls and that Earlier, we saw the witness use the strategy of trying to invoke the duration of events in order to remember precise times. Here, the officer suggests alternative remembering strategies: using consensual definitions, in this case the definition of “evening time” (lines 2 and 3); using information about surroundings and incidental information, television (lines 4 – 10) and a watch (lines 11 – 12). Finally, the interviewer appeals to the witness to attempt to prompt his own memory (line 13). As exemplified here, “discourse technologies involve simulation: in particular, the simulation for strategic and instrumental purposes of interpersonal meanings and discursive practices” (Fairclough, 1992:215-6). The interviewer simulates concern, presenting himself as caring, helpful and supportive, as someone who would help the witness to remember the facts he is groping for. However, the witness does not seem to buy into this simulation, rather than using the remembering strategies which the officer suggests, he side-steps them, becoming defensively distracted by details of a television at the murder scene and re-stating his own role in proceedings rather than attending to his failure to estimate time. In version 3, the interviewer returns to this unresolved matter: From version 3: 1 I how long were you there for before they started messing around 2 W say about (4.3) good half hour a good half an hour 3 I (3.8) ok they’d started messing around Here, the witness’ response is strikingly different from that in version 2. Rather than resisting the question, the witness immediately proposes an approximate duration (line 2). This second request for information, and the obliging response, occurred some way into the session and whilst it is impossible to say why the witness’ stance changed so dramatically, it is interesting to note the change as it demonstrates the extent to which asking for the same information at different stages of an interaction can elicit wildly altered responses. These two excerpts raise the issue of possible shortcomings of the accepted reporting style of witness statements. Witness statements are, as we have seen, recorded in the first
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person. The interviewer scribes on the witness’ behalf and does not mediate or evaluate their words in a way that is external to the text, in that it is not visible on the text’s surface. The statement-taker mediates and evaluates by deciding what to include, what to exclude and what precise formulations to use on the basis of what the witness has told them, but their evaluation is a part of text-production processes, not a part of the text itself. This means that evaluation is invisible, the interviewer cannot comment on, or acknowledge, it and those who read the statement cannot access it. Remember that in the statement the two sets of exchanges reproduced above, one in which the witness was
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