© 2007

Communicating Rights

The Language of Arrest and Detention


Table of contents

  1. Front Matter
    Pages i-xviii
  2. Rights and Research: Orientation and Theory

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 1-1
    2. Frances Rock
      Pages 3-13
    3. Frances Rock
      Pages 14-30
  3. Writing Rights

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 31-31
    2. Frances Rock
      Pages 33-48
    3. Frances Rock
      Pages 49-71
    4. Frances Rock
      Pages 72-88
  4. Speaking Rights

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 135-135
    2. Frances Rock
      Pages 137-165
    3. Frances Rock
      Pages 166-179
    4. Frances Rock
      Pages 180-204
    5. Frances Rock
      Pages 205-221
    6. Frances Rock
      Pages 222-242
  5. Righting Rights

    1. Front Matter
      Pages 243-243
    2. Frances Rock
      Pages 245-257
    3. Frances Rock
      Pages 258-261
  6. Back Matter
    Pages 262-359

About this book


Organizations acting on behalf of society are expected to act fairly, explaining themselves and their procedures. For the police, explanation is routine and repetitive. It's also very powerful. This book provides an unusual opportunity to see different speakers and writers explaining the same texts in their own words in British police stations.


communication police Syntax

Authors and affiliations

  1. 1.Cardiff UniversityUK

About the authors

FRANCES ROCK is a Lecturer in the Centre for Language and Communication Research at Cardiff University, UK. She has previously taught at the Universities of Roehampton and Birmingham.

Bibliographic information

Industry Sectors


' this book is an extraordinary tour de force. It is a classic piece of applied linguistics, in that it uses theory and methods from a range of fields to analyse and address a social issue. It makes compelling use of authentic interview data to reveal how and why communication does and does not happen. It steps well beyond conventional linguistic theories to address cautioning as a social process. It is compulsory reading for anyone who is interested in cautioning.' John Gibbons, Journal of Sociolinguistics

'...this book is a laudable effort to study "documents-in-action". The originality of this book lies in the fact that it is not just a discussion of how to improve the comprehensibility of "difficult" texts, but also an investigation of how these texts function in the real world.' - Martha Komter, Information Design Journal

'Communicating Rights makes a significant contribution not only to the field of language and the law but also to the UK justice system. Author Frances Rock should be applauded for her balanced yet sharp analyses of written and spoken rights communication, supported by her extensive repertoire of sociolinguistic tools for discourse analysis...I would recommend this book to scholars and legal professionals as a classic in rights communication.' Ikuko Nakane, The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law