From talk to text: The interactional construction of a police record

M.L. Komter

Research output: Contribution to JournalArticleAcademicpeer-review


In the Netherlands, police records are routinely drawn up in the course of the interrogation. As a result, recording practices are closely interwoven with interrogation activities. The interrogation is organized to accommodate the recording, and the recording informs the interrogation. The record is not merely a document in which what is said is written down, it actively informs and directs the interrogation: The record-thus-far is used by the interrogator as a resource to carry on the interrogation. Consequently, what gets written down in the record and is eventually used as evidence in a criminal law case is not just a reflection of what the interrogator has asked and the suspect has answered but also a result of the interrogator's solutions to problems of coordinating the talk and the typing. Thus, police records can only be understood fully by taking into account the practices of their construction. Copyright © 2006, Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, Inc.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)201-228
Number of pages28
JournalResearch on Language and Social Interaction
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006


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