Manipulative Use of Affect and Evidential Markers in Legal Discourse


Moussa Sassi, Fatima Zohra


English Language department, Faculty of Letters, Arts and Human Siences, University of Sousse, Erriadh City 4023, Sousse, Tunisia


The focus of this research is on discursive manipulation in legal discourse through affect and evidential markers (emotional, source, and reliability indicators). This paper is an attempt to answer this question: how do positive and negative affect markers, degree of certainty, and source of knowledge stimulate manipulative mechanisms in legal discourse? Since it is about manipulative discourse in a social situation, Critical Discourse Analysis is highly involved. The legal discourse used in this research is the transcript of the hearings of the CEO of Facebook in the congress on the 10th and 11th of April 2018. The research revealed the contribution of affect markers and modes of knowing associated with reliability markers in realizing a manipulative environment. The most relevant markers are ‘we’ and group power, ‘specifically’ and shift of focus, ‘I think’ and lack of belief; that is to say, the markers in this discourse reflect the speaker’s (mis)representation of attitude towards the situation, affiliation, and source of knowledge.


affect markers; critical discourse analysis; evidential markers; evidentiality; legal discourse; manipulation; manipulative mechanisms

Publication Date

June 7, 2020


Volume 7, Issue 1

Citation information

Moussa Sassi, Fatima Zohra. 2020. “Manipulative Use of Affect and Evidential Markers in Legal Discourse.” Language. Text. Society 7 (1).


author = {Moussa Sassi, Fatima Zohra},
title = {Manipulative use of Affect and Evidential Markers in Legal Discourse},
journal = {Language. Text. Society},
year = {2020},
issn = {2687-0487},
number = {1},
volume = {7},
url = {},


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