CSUF Dialect Discrimination in The Courtroom Annotated Bibliographies

California State University Fullerton

Question Description

Need help with my Linguistics question - I’m studying for my class.

write three (3) annotated bibliographies for each of the bolded references listed under your assigned project topics.

Dialect Discrimination in the courtroom

Research suggests that using a nonstandard dialect in the courtroom may have detrimental effects on a speaker’s position in the courtroom due to dialect discrimination. For example, Rachel Jeantel, who is trilingual, spoke a nonstandard dialect of American English during her testimony as a key witness for the prosecution in the trial of Robert Zimmerman (the man who killed Trayvon Martin). Rickford (2016) argues that Rachel Jeantel’s dialect interacted with jurors’ perceptions about her credibility as a witness in the trial. In this paper I will review research that explores how one’s accent and dialect can affect how a person is treated in the courts, whether the person is the accused or a witness.

Sources to Consult

Dixon, J. A., & Mahoney, B. (2004). The effect of accent evaluation and evidence on a suspect's perceived guilt and criminality. The Journal of Social Psychology, 144(1), 63-73.

Dixon, J. (2002). Accents of Guilt? Journal of Language and Social Psychology., 21(2), 162-168.
Eligon, J. (Jan. 26, 2019). Speaking Black Dialect in Courtrooms Can Have Striking Consequences. New

York Times, p. NA(L). Gale General OneFile, .

Rickford, J. (2016). Language and linguistics on trial: Hearing Rachel Jeantel (and other vernacular

speakers) in the courtroom and beyond. Language 92(4), 948-988.
Rigogliso, M. (Dec 2, 2014). Stanford linguist says prejudice toward African American dialect can result in

unfair rulings. Stanford News.


Shousterman, C. (Oct 30, 2013). Linguistic prejudice is a real prejudice (and has real consequences). The Online Journal on African American English. real-consequences/

You should do these steps three times. One for each source.

1. The name of the source in APA or MLA format. You will need to look up how to cite court cases if you are reviewing a court opinion (and any time of source for that matter). Purdue Owl is an excellent resource for citations

2. A paragraph summary of the article, book chapter, or court opinion (in your own words).

For articles or book chapters: What is the article/book chapter about? What is the thesis or aim of the research or chapter? What does the author(s) show in the research (for articles)?

For court opinions: What is the case about? Who are the involved parties? What was the court’s opinion? Which court wrote the opinion (Ex: Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, etc.)? If it is a Supreme Court Opinion, did it agree with the ruling of the lower courts?

3. A paragraph establishing a connection with your topic—How does the reading relate to your topic? How might you use it in your paper? Was there anything in the reading that was confusing or you’re not sure you understood?

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Final Answer



Dialect Discrimination in the Courtroom
Institutional Affiliation




Dixon, J. (2002). Accents of Guilt? Journal of Language and Social Psychology., 21(2), 162168.
In this article, Dixon (2002) focuses on the use of nonstandard language in the courtroom
influences the jury decision. The use of the standard and nonstandard accent or language in the
courtroom is the topic that has been contested by different scholars, and they analyze how it
influences the court’s decision. Dixon, (2002), highlights that people are likely to be associated
with competence or higher status like literacy or intelligence than those using nonstandard
accents. For this reason, the accent can offer an individual with a systematic disadvantage or
advantage in scenarios like classrooms, interviews, negotiations, and so on. When this view is
extrapolated in the legal environment like the court trials, police questioning, and case
witnessing and other activities, people with a nonstandard accent are more likely to be perceived
as illiterate, non-intelligence, and guilty. In his attempt to find the impact of the accent on the
attribution of being guilty, Dixon (2002) found that the interview that involved a su...

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