Given the witness familiarity with this journey and

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Given the witness’ familiarity with this journey and the fact that the group travelled “directly” from meeting 1 to 2, it seems a little strange that a statement from a witness who specified the time he left meeting 1 would not be able even to estimate the time he arrived at meeting 2. In investigating how this section of the statement came about then, we must reflect on possible reasons that a time was provided for leaving meeting 1, despite the uncertainty in the previous 3 excerpts yet time was omitted here. This excerpt is also interesting in that it has an extremely dialogic feel. We could imagine the anti-information “I’m not sure what time it was” as the answer to a question and the “but” and associated clause which follow as a mitigating conversational turn. If these features had been presented in a disputed statement, they would almost certainly have caught the attention of an analyst who was looking for traces of dialogicity which might reveal an attempt to disguise a dialogue as a monologue. The crossing-out of “not” might also have attracted anyone lucky enough to have access to the original hand-written document, and rightly so as this is, in fact, the result of discussion between the interviewer and witness after the interviewer had initially misunderstood the witness’ description of his previous relationship with the man. Investigating the origins of this
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strange temporal formulation therefore enables us to consider text which appears to be dialogic as perhaps signifying something even more complex than we might imagine. From version 2: 1 I what time do you think you got to the man’s house 2 W ur phhh (.) I’m not sure 3 I not sure 4 5 W it was in between about 3 3 o’clock 3 3 about 3 to 4 o’clock something like that 6 I about 3 to 4 7 W yeh Remember that in the previous excerpt from version 3, the interviewer and witness agreed on “about 6 o’clock or earlier” as being a suitable way to express the likely time that the group left meeting 1 yet here, in version 2, which of course occurred in the session before version 3 the witness proposes a time 2 or 3 hours earlier than that as being the likely time that they arrived at meeting 2 . Of course, the group could not have arrived at the second location before they had left the first, so it is intriguing to note this great discrepancy and to consider how different the statement might have been had this been pursued. The other important question which this excerpt raises is the following: if the witness proposed a time for arrival at meeting 2 (3 to 4 o’clock which he says twice in the excerpt above) how is it that this is not incorporated in the statement given that the times he has proposed elsewhere, perhaps with less conviction, were incorporated. This is answered by the next excerpt, from version 3: 1 2 3 4 I yeh (.) everyone was cheerful when we walked down the road and the girls were about 16 years old (.) we went directly to the man’s house (.) you’re not sure of the time (.) but you’d describe the house as being al- a little bit
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