Influential in this theoretical approach to pragmatics
includes the work of Grice (1975) whose Cooperative Principle governing
language use is a fundamental reference point in the analysis of conversation
The maxims, postulated by Paul Grice in 1975, seek to
account for how participants in a conversation stay to the Cooperative Principle,
which in turn allows language users to interpret utterances. The maxim of
quantity requires participants in a conversation to make their contributions
brief and to avoid giving too much information. The maxim of relevance deals
with information being on topic and it requires that participants make
contributions that relate to the immediate topic. The maxim of quality requires
that only say those thing which you can prove and you posses adequate evidence
for it. The last maxim, maxim of manner requires that avoid obscurity and ambiguity
and be brief and orderly in your conversation.
In cross-examination when lawyer asked the
question than an ambiguous response could indicate that a witness, in refusing
to orient his or her response to the question, is intentionally flouting the
Grice’s Maxims. Witness sometime never accurately responding to the questions
because they cannot comprehend the question. Thus, the witness’s response may
address issues that are outside the question but still within the domain of the
trial. Such responses, on the surface, seem a violation of the Grice’s maxims
of quantity and relevance.
However, the application of these maxims, it
has been argued, would need an ideal dialogue which is power free, and, for
some scholars, this an unattainable kind of dialogue even in casual conversation.
The researcher adopt this view and the argument that courtroom discourse is
laden with power asymmetries and is characterized by the adoption of non
cooperative stances by participants who are, at times, pursuing diametrically
opposed goals .
According to dictionary.com, politeness is defined as “showing good manners towards others” or as being “refined or cultured”
however, in the field of linguistics the concept of politeness is much more
complex. Politeness has no longer been substantially
researched inside the concern area of courtroom while it is regarded as the
essential element of all the communications. Politeness differs between
individuals, cultures, and societies
Politeness in general terms refers to the ideas like being tactful,
modest and nice to other people. Politeness can be defined as showing awareness
and consideration of another person’s face. .
Leech (1981) defines politeness with reference to pragmatics, as it is some
contextual norms of appropriateness. This norm will be mostly mutilated in the
cross-examination questioning. The
concept of face is essential in the politeness theory, which is damage in this
trial process. In 1967 Goff man defined the category of “face” that is “the
positive social value a person effectively claims for himself by the line
others assume he has taken during a particular contact”.
The term used as
face refers to a speaker’s sense of linguistic and social identity and its self-image. If lawyer say something that represents
a threat to witness person’s self-image, that is called a face-threatening act.
For example, if lawyer use a direct speech act to get someone to do something
(tell me why you were there?), in this lawyer is behaving as if lawyer have
more social power than the other person does.
In every utterance, there are the
possibilities of face-saving and face threatening acts. In cross-examination
questioning if the face value of one part is threatened the witness can never
acurtely tell the truth and reality is distorted. Face is a contributing factor in politeness
analysis, when face of one person is not preserved then it causes the violation
of politeness in courtroom. Therefore, in cross-examination by adopting avoidance
strategies the parties can change the court proceeding into cooperative and