Interpreting and Markers in Nigerian Courtroom Discourse

Farinde Raifu Olanrewaju, Oyedokun Alli, Wasiu Ademola


It has already been affirmed that power and control embedded in questions varies according to question type (Luchjenbroers 1999, Rigney 1999 etc). The paper ranges question types according to their degree of control and observes that those with high degree of control lost their power and control through the process of interpreting. It is further observed that since lawyers always maintain power and control through the type of questions they ask (such as declarative, yes/no, alternative questions) they are at the losing end whenever there is the need for court interpreter. Similarly, the use of discourse markers in the court (such as now, so, and, ok), also signifies lawyer’s power and control over the witnesses and defendants and these are always used to further enhance the power, coercion and challenging nature of the lawyers (see Hale 1999). The study further notes that the power and control of questions coating discourse markers are always reducing through the process of interpreting. The paper opines that the presence of courtroom interpreters in court reduces the power and control of lawyers in court.


Questions, Power, Discourse Markers, Control, Interpreter, Lawyers, Declarative

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