Retelling Hillsborough: A critical stylistic analysis of witness statements

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This chapter considers retellings of the Hillsborough Football Stadium Disaster through analyses of witness statements taken for the investigative process. It examines linguistic strategies, namely negation and ‘disnarration’ (Prince 1988) in statements scripted by the presiding police forces that led the initial investigation. Ultimately, it argues that ‘retelling’ is an institutional practice in most UK and European statement-taking contexts. That is not to say such practice is sinister or even intentional. Rather, it is often so because the production of a witness statement involves both what has been variously called ‘entextualisation’ (Bauman and Briggs 1990) and ‘recontextualisation’ (Linell 1998) , which is the recapitulation of an oral narrative (in this case spoken by a witness) into a textual product for use in a different discourse context.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationNarrative Retellings
Subtitle of host publicationStylistic Approaches
EditorsMarina Lambrou
Place of PublicationLondon, UK
ISBN (Electronic)9781350120037, 9781350120044
ISBN (Print)9781350120020, 9781350195363
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2020
Externally publishedYes


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