AbstractAny act has certain goal, and the judge’s trial discourse is a structured and layered goal system. Judges normally adopt some discourse strategies to reach their trial goals. Based on our trial corpora, we find judges commonly adopt some strong goal-driven discourse strategies, such as question-answer strategy, power control strategy, presupposition strategy, repetition strategy, and interruption strategy, etc., in order to realize their trial goals as well as discourse goals. Strategy in effect refers to means, with which the goal of discourse is to be achieved. As words are intended for both the expression and the achievement of goals, the choice of a means or a strategy relies on the decision of the goal. Only from this perspective is the link between strategy and goal meaningful, and in this sense, strategy means rhetoric. This paper aims to study the judge’s discourse strategies adopted in trials in Chinese courtrooms from the perspective of the goal principle.
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