Baltic accent

2018 Vol. 9 №1

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Linguistic Means Expressing Argumentation in Judicial Discourse late 19th: The Prosecutor’s Speech in Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov



This article analyses linguistic means of expressing argumentation in judicial discourse as used in the prosecutor’s speech in F. M. Dostoevsky’s The Brothers Karamazov. The author identifies logical and psychological types of argumentation characteristic of the 19th-century courtroom speeches. Such speeches use a complex structure of theses and arguments and employ various pragmatic and rhetorical means and devices alongside compound and complex sentences. The force of persuasion of the prosecutor’s speech depends on its emotional effect on the jury. The author concludes that the distinctive characteristics of speeches delivered to present arguments in court stem from the institutional nature of this type of discourse and the use of specific linguistic means. When employing pragmatic and logical and rhetorical linguistic means, it is necessary to follow the rules of usage and consider the suitability of such means. An excessive use of rhetorical devices leads to unintended communicative mistakes and may cause a communicative failure. In a work of fiction, such a use of a linguistic means can contribute to the overall aesthetic effect as well as to the compositional, cognitive, logical, illocutive, expressive, and pragmatic expressiveness of the narrative.


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