HomeTin-awvol. 2 no. 1 (2018)

Language of Interrogation on Senate Hearings on Drug-Related Cases

Teena Marie P. Bangoy



Lexical selection creates semantic contrast between prosecution and defense accounts of the same events and narrative accounts juxtaposed through challenging questioning that produces inferential meaning. In some senate hearings on television, the witnesses were not accustomed to this unusual format of questioning from senators. There is a danger that the person questioning may impose his own story on the witness, since it is the questioner who controls the direction of conversation. This qualitative research employed content analysis aimed to analyze the features of the language of interrogation and the illocutionary acts in senate hearings on drug-related cases. Four senate hearings posted on YouTube were the size of corpora covering the months of August 2016 to September 2017. Results had shown that the syntactic features involved were verb usage, uses of pronouns and the question types namely: productive, risky and counter-productive questions. In addition, embedded in the language of interrogation, the illocutionary acts used by senators were directives, assertives, commissives, expressives and declarations. Based on the result, it implied that questioning of witnesses did not just neutrally provide information but also influenced the answer, the structure of both questions and answer and affected judgments of credibility and persuasiveness.