1st Edition

Researching Forensic Linguistics Approaches and Applications

By Georgina Heydon Copyright 2019
    164 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    164 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    Researching Forensic Linguistics is an informative, hands-on guide to conducting research in forensic linguistics that can underpin legal and justice practices and address social justice problems involving language.

    Georgina Heydon takes readers step by step through the research process using case studies that draw on different types of forensic and legal language data such as police interviews, anonymous reports of sexual assault, threatening letters and justice stakeholder interviews. Each chapter is framed by a language problem arising from either forensic linguistic case work or a key issue in language and the law. Up-to-date research methods in forensic linguistics are presented, including authorship attribution using online corpora, practice-based linguistic analysis and experimental techniques. 

    This is an ideal companion for linguists who want to apply their skills to a forensic setting, practitioners in the legal and justice fields seeking to understand how linguistic analysis can support their work, and any student undertaking research in forensic linguistics within English language, linguistics, applied linguistics and legal studies.

    List of illustrations



    Part I Language Crimes

    Chapter 1 Authorship Attribution Case File: Murder in Mackay

    Chapter 2 Legal Language Interpretation Case File: Solvency and Semantics

    Part II Police procedures

    Chapter 3 Police Interviewing: Questioning Strategies in UK and USA Models of Training

    Chapter 4 Lie Detection and Linguistics

    Chapter 5 Police Cautions and Comprehension

    Part III Legal Process

    Chapter 6 Anonymous Reporting of Sexual Assault: Assessing the Value of Online, Form-Based Reporting

    Chapter 7 Legal Investigative Interviewing: Questioning Strategies in Civil and Administrative Investigations

    Chapter 8 Access to Justice: Post-Colonial Language Attitudes

    Chapter 9 Generating Data for Forensic Linguistic Research




    Georgina Heydon is an Associate Professor of Criminology and Justice Studies at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (Melbourne, Australia) and President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists. She has published extensively on the discourse and conversational structures of police interviews and other forms of crime reporting. Associate Professor Heydon regularly delivers interviewing training to police and judicial audiences around the world and provides expert evidence in court cases involving language issues.

    'It is altogether fitting and proper for experienced and knowledgeable scholars like Professor Heydon to share their expertise about how to solve human problems. And this is exactly what she does with numerous highly readable, evidence-based case studies that will surely inspire newcomers to enter this field while also supporting veteran linguists in our rapidly developing field of forensic linguistics. Although her book abounds with citations from linguistic theory and research, Professor Heydon still treats her readers to a fascinating tour of law cases in which linguistic rubber meets the realistic road of law.'

    Roger W. Shuy, Georgetown University, USA