Gricean Maxim Violation(s) in the Murder Case of Jamal Khashoggi

A Forensic Lingustic Perspective


  • Zakir Hussain Radfar Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia
  • Dadang Sudana Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia
  • Wawan Gunawan Universitas Pendidikan Indonesia, Bandung, Indonesia



forensic linguistics; implicature; Jamal Khashoggi; murder; Saudi Arabia


The murder of Jamal Khashoggi in the consulate of Saudi Arabia in Turkey is still controversial. The judgment relies on valid and reliable evidence. This study is vital due to investigating a murder case based on pragmatic meanings as language evidence broadcasted in media. This research employs Grice’s conversational implicature to investigate the murder of Jamal Khashoggi by analyzing the exposed recorded tapes of Jamal Khashoggi and the accused inside the consulate, the utterances of Khadija Changiz, the fiancée of Jamal Khashoggi, and Adel al Jubeir’s statements, the foreign minister of Saudi Arabia as a representative of the Saudi Arabian. The design of this research is a case study, and content analysis is used to analyze the data based on Mayring’s (2000) qualitative content analysis. Based on the findings of the study, the recorded tapes of Jamal Khashoggi and the accused are outlined as ambiguous language. Saudi Arabia denied the murder by saving face, misleading the hearer, and skipping the questions, but later on, affirmed the murder and promised to bring justice. Hence, the results of this study will affect the verdict on the judicial decree, and the accusations will be prosecuted, and justice will be served to Jamal Khashoggi.


Download data is not yet available.


Aglina, E.F. (2018). A study of conversation implicature used in Twilight movie 2008. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS). 23(7).

Ariani, M.G. Sajedi, F. & Sajedi, M. (2014). Forensic linguistics: a brief overview of the key elements. Procedia Social and Behavioural Sciences, 158, 222-225.

Aziz, E. A. (2015). Pedoman kajian linguistik forensic: kementerian pendidikan dan kebudayaan Republik Indonesia. Retrieved by internet on 23 April 2020, from

Basra, S.M. & Thoyyibah, L. (2017). A speech act analysis of teacher talk in an EFL classroom. International Journal of Education, 10(1), 73-81. Retrieved from:

Ceballos, C.T. & Sosas, R.V. (2018). On court proceedings: A forensic linguistic analysis on maxim violation. Journal of Nusantara Studies, 3(02), 17-31. DOI: 10.24200/jonus.vol3iss2pp17-31

Coulthard, M. (2005). Some forensic application of description linguistics. Verdas, 9(01), 9-28.

Coulthard, M. & Johnson, A. (2007). An introduction to forensic linguistics: Language in evidence. Routledge: USA.

Grice, H. P. (1989). Studies in the way of words. Harvard University Press. Available at:

Grice, H. P. (1975). Logic and conversation. Available at:

Haltiwanger. J. (2018). Here's everything we know about the troubling disappearance of Saudi journalist Jamal Khashoggi, Business Insider Singapore. Retrieved from the internet on the 26th of December 2018.

Leonard, R.A. Ford, J.E.R & Christensen, T.K. (2017). Forensic linguistic: applying the science of linguistic to issues of the law. Hofstra Law review, 45(3), 881-897. Retrieved from:

Levinson, S. C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Luo, X. and Gao, J. (2011). On pragmatic failures in second language learning. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 1(3), 283-286. DOI: 10.4304/tpls.1.3.283-286

Mayring, P. (2000). Qualitative content analysis. Forum Qualitative Social Research, 1(2).

McMenamin, G.R. (2002) Forensic linguistics: Advances in forensic stylistics. CRC Press: New York

Momeni, N. (2012). 'Fraud in judicial system' as a language crime: Forensic linguistic approach. Theory and Practice in Language Studies, 2(6), 1263-1269. DOI: 10.4304/tpls.2.6.1263-1269

Mustafa, M.S. (2010). The interpretation of implicature: A comparative study between implicature in linguistics and journalism. Journal of Language Teaching and Research, 1(1), 35-43. Retrieved from:

Nanda, D.S. (2015). Implicature in John Green’s the fault of our stars. JEELS, 2(1), 44-61. DOI:

Neito, V.G. et al. (2008) Exploring the state of the art software for forensic authorship identification. International Journal of English Studies, 8(1), 1-28. Retrieved from:

Nordquist, R. (2019). What is forensic linguistics? Thought Co. retrieved by internet on 2/6/ 2020.

Nordin, M.Z.F. (2016). Forensic linguistics and the detecting of deviant teaching in Malaysia. The European Proceedings of Social and Behavioural Sciences.

Oktoma, E & Mardiyono, S. (2013). The analysis of presupposition in the short stories of Silvester Goridus Sukur. English Review: Journal of English Education, 2(1), 73-83. Retrieved from:

Olsson, J. (2008). Forensic linguistics. Continuum International Publishing Group, London SEI 7NX.

Ramezani, F. Sani, A.K. & Moghadam, K. (2016). Forensic linguistics in the light of Crime investigation. Pertanika J. Soc. Sci.& Hum. 24(1): 375-384. Retrieved from:

Sudjana, E.T.S., and Fitri, N. (2013). Kurt Cobain's suicide note case: Forensic linguistic profiling analysis. International Journal of Criminology and Sociological Theory, 6(4). 217-227. Retrieved from:

Sumaljag, M.V. (2018). A forensic linguistic analysis of police reports. IOSR Journal of Humanities and Social Science (IOSR-JHSS), 23(1).

Shuy, R.W. (2007). Language in the American Courtroom, Language and Linguistics Compass 1/1-2. Blackwell Publishing Ltd.

Tajabadi, A. Dowlatabadi, H. & Mehri, E. (2014). Grice’s cooperative maxims in oral arguments: The case of dispute settlement councils in Iran. Procedia - Social and Behavioral Sciences, 98, 1859 – 1865. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2014.03.616

Thomas, Jenny. (1995). Meaning in interaction: An introduction to pragmatics. London.

Udina, N. (2016). Forensic linguistics implication for legal education: creating the e-textbook on language and law. Procedia-Social and Behavioral Science, 237, 1337-1340. DOI: 10.1016/j.sbspro.2017.02.219

Vrij, A. Leal, S. & Fisher, R.P. (2018). Verbal deception and the model statement as a lie detection tool. Frontiers in Psychiatry, 9, 492. DOI: 10.3389/fpsyt.2018.00492

Wang, J. (2016). A new political and communication agenda for political discourse analysis: Critical reflections on critical discourse analysis and political discourse analysis. International Journal of Communication, 10, 2766-2784. Retrieved from:

Waskita, D. (2014). Transitivity in a telephone conversation in a Bribery Case in Indonesia: a forensic linguistic study, Journal Sosioteknologi, 13(2), 91-100. DOI: 10.5614%2Fsostek.itbj.2014.13.2.3

Yule, G. (1996). Pragmatics. Oxford University Press. New York.




How to Cite

Radfar, Z. H., Sudana, D. ., & Gunawan, W. . (2020). Gricean Maxim Violation(s) in the Murder Case of Jamal Khashoggi: A Forensic Lingustic Perspective. NOBEL: Journal of Literature and Language Teaching, 11(2), 162–177.