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Rhetorical Strategy in Forensic Speeches: Multidimensional Statistics-Based Methodology

Abstract : Rhetorical strategy is relevant in the law domain, where language is a vital instrument. Textual statistics have much to offer for uncovering such a strategy. We propose a methodology that starts from a non-structured text; first, the breakpoints are automatically detected and lexically homogeneous parts are identified; then, the shape of the text through the trajectory of these parts and their hierarchical structure are uncovered; finally, the argument flow is tracked along. Several methods are combined. Chronological clustering of multidimensional count series detects the breakpoints; the shape of the text is revealed by applying correspondence analysis to the parts×words table while the progression of the argument is described by labelled time-constrained hierarchical clustering. This methodology is illustrated on a rhetoric forensic application, concretely a closing speech delivered by a prosecutor at Barcelona Criminal Court. This approach could also be useful in politics, communication and professional writing.
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Contributor : Patrick Gros Connect in order to contact the contributor
Submitted on : Sunday, July 20, 2014 - 5:00:14 PM
Last modification on : Thursday, January 20, 2022 - 4:18:42 PM



Mónica Bécue-Bertaut, Belchin Adriyanov Kostov, Annie Morin, Gulhem Naro. Rhetorical Strategy in Forensic Speeches: Multidimensional Statistics-Based Methodology. Journal of Classification, 2014, 31 (1), pp.85-106. ⟨10.1007/s00357-014-9148-9⟩. ⟨hal-01026150⟩



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