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NCJRS Abstract

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NCJ Number: 221308 Find in a Library
Title: Sociolinguistic and Psycholinguistic Indications of Behavior Disorders: Analysis of a Prisoner's Discourse
Journal: International Journal of Offender Therapy and Comparative Criminology  Volume:52  Issue:1  Dated:February 2008  Pages:112-126
Author(s): Uri Timor; Joshua M. Weiss
Date Published: February 2008
Page Count: 15
Type: Report (Study/Research)
Format: Article
Language: English
Country: United States of America
Annotation: This text presents a discourse analysis of a prisoner’s text and a semantic and morphological analysis of his language use.
Abstract: Analysis indicates that the content of the patient's speech can relay information about a patient's world and problems in two ways: through listening to what he says explicitly, and by discovery of the latent meanings hidden behind his spoken words. Human verbal language communicates both manifest and latent messages concerning the speakers’ world and behavior. To understand the speaker’s world and analyze his problems, it is important to decode the latent messages as they might hint at the root causes of behavior. Exposing such meanings is made possible by a systematic psycho linguistic analysis of his speech, focusing on his discourse techniques such as the use of minimizers and tag questions, his semantic techniques such as his use of connotations and anaphoras, and his morphological techniques such as his use of second person and passive voice. This type of analysis can provide diagnosticians and therapists an array of tools for mining essential information during interviews. The article encourages the use of the tool, based on knowledge of linguistics and combined with theoretical knowledge in the field of criminology, sociology, and psychology to identify and interpret both latent and explicit messages in the speech of criminals, in particular, and patients’ speech in general. The discourse used in this article derived from a phenomenological interview with a 36-year-old inmate who had been in an Israeli prison for 4 years for robbing an individual of money, and inflicting knife wounds on the victim. The phenomenological interview was selected because it represented a prisoner’s understanding of his own particular reality without intervention. Notes, references
Main Term(s): Correlation analysis; Israel; Psycholinguistics
Index Term(s): Behavior patterns; Behavioral and Social Sciences; Comparative criminology; Individual behavior; Inmate attitudes; Problem behavior; Psychology
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