Document Type : Research article


1 PhD Candidate of Linguistics, Literature and Humanities Faculty, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.

2 Professor, Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Literature, Alzahra University, Tehran, Iran.

3 PhD Candidate in Criminal Law and Criminology, Law Faculty, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran.


Questions are the most important and the most common feature of legal talk. Questioning is the weapon that is used to test or challenge statements made by lay people and it is considered as a tool to make accusations. Based on syntactic and formal features of questioning, which are important parts of any linguistic analysis, questions are categorized into two classes: closed and open questions. The criteria for choosing one form over the others is determined by pragmatic factors. In other words, the questioner chooses one form of questions on the base of pragmatic strategies that s/he adapts during questioning. This article is dedicated to exploring the crossroads where structural and pragmatic features of questions come together to achieve this goal. To this end, we combined two quantitative and pragmatic approaches. The data of the present research was gathered from four cases during interrogation processes in the court of Shiraz.  The research findings indicate that pragmatic strategies determine the types of question forms and, also, closed questions have the most application in the interrogation process because they have a high level of control that can challenge the addressee’s statements.


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