The Linguistic Features of Bribery in Some Selected Cases in Federal Courts of Ethiopia


  • Zinawork Assefa Addis Ababa University


Bribery, No Denial of the Allegation, the Contradiction of the Testimony, Tense of the Verb, Social introduction, Pronouns


This study explores the linguistic characteristics found in cases involving bribery and corruption. The phrase "language of a bribery case" highlights the use of language as both a tool for committing the crime and as a means of investigating it through linguistic analysis. In the Ethiopian legal system, there is limited familiarity with utilizing linguistic knowledge to aid in the delivery of justice. Therefore, this study aims to introduce and promote the use of forensic linguistics in bribery cases by enhancing knowledge and skills in this area. The study addresses two main questions: (1) What linguistic features are present in bribery cases? (2) How can linguistic tools and procedures be employed to identify language-related threats in bribery cases? To answer these questions effectively, the study collected oral and written Amharic expressions from Federal High Courtrooms using recording and observation techniques. The data was then qualitatively analyzed. Consequently, the study identified several linguistic indicators, including: avoidance of liability or lack of denial regarding allegations; contradictions within testimonies; verb tense usage; social introductions; pronoun usage; and seemingly insignificant information becoming significant.