2nd Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics

Edited By Malcolm Coulthard, Alison May, Rui Sousa-Silva Copyright 2021
    760 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    760 Pages 40 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics offers a comprehensive survey of the subdiscipline of Forensic Linguistics, with this new edition providing both updated overviews from leading figures in the field and exciting new contributions from the next generation of forensic linguists.

    The Handbook is a unique work of reference to the leading ideas, debates, topics, approaches and methodologies in forensic linguistics and language and the law. It comprises 43 chapters, including entirely new contributions from many international experts, in the areas of Aboriginal claimants, appraisal and stance, author identities online, biased language in capital trials, corpus approaches, false confessions, forensic phonetics, forensic transcription, the historical courtroom, legal interpretation, multilingual law, police crisis negotiation, speaker profiling, and trolling. The chapters include a wealth of examples and case studies so the reader can see forensic linguistics applied and in action. 

    Edited and authored by the world’s leading academics and practitioners, The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics is a vital resource for advanced students, researchers and scholars, and will also be of interest to legal, law enforcement and security professionals.

    List of illustrations

    List of conventions used

    List of contributors and affiliations

    Notes on editors and contributors


    1 Introduction

    Alison May, Rui Sousa-Silva and Malcolm Coulthard


    Section I The language of the law and the legal process


    1.1 Legal language and legal meaning

    2 Legal talk

    Socio-pragmatic aspects of legal questioning: police interviews, prosecutorial discourse and trial discourse

    Alison May, Elizabeth Holt, Neveen Al Saeed and Nurshafawati Ahmad Sani


    3 Legal writing: complexity

    Complex documents / average and not-so-average readers

    Gail Stygall


    4 Legal writing: attitude and emphasis

    Corpus linguistic approaches to ‘legal language’: adverbial expression of attitude and emphasis in supreme court opinions

    Edward Finegan and Benjamin T. Lee


    5 Creating multilingual law

    Language and translation at the Court of Justice of the European Union

    Karen McAuliffe


    6 Legal interpretation

    The category of ordinary meaning and its role in legal interpretation

    Christopher Hutton


    1.2 Witnesses and suspects in interviews and investigations

    7 Miranda rights

    Curtailing coercion in police interrogation: the failed promise of Miranda v. Arizona

    Janet Ainsworth


    8 Witnesses and suspects in interviews

    Collecting oral evidence: the police, the public and the written word

    Frances Rock


    9 False confessors

    The language of false confession in police interrogation

    Philip Gaines and Belén Lowrey-Kinberg


    10 Police interviews in the judicial process

    Police interviews as evidence

    Kate Haworth


    11 Assuming identities online

    Authorship synthesis in undercover investigations

    Nicci MacLeod


    1.3 Language in the courtroom

    12 Order in court

    Talk-in-interaction in the judicial process

    Paul Drew and Fabio Ferraz de Almeida


    13 Narrative in the trial

    Constructing crime stories in court

    Chris Heffer


    14 Advances in studies of the historical courtroom

    (Con)Textual, ideational and interpersonal dimensions

    Krisda Chaemsaithong


    15 Capitally speaking

    Language and bias in capital trials

    Mel Greenlee


    16 Multimodality in legal interaction

    Beyond written and verbal modalities

    Gregory M. Matoesian and Kristin Enola Gilbert


    1.4 Lay participants in the judicial process

    17 Instructions to jurors

    Redrafting California’s jury instructions

    Peter M. Tiersma


    18 Vulnerable witnesses

    Vulnerable witnesses in police investigative interviews in England and Wales

    Michelle Aldridge-Waddon


    19 Rape victims

    The discourse of rape trials

    Susan Ehrlich


    20 Defendants’ allocutions at sentencing

    Courtroom apologies

    M. Catherine Gruber


    21 Aboriginal claimants

    Adjusting legal procedures to accommodate linguistic and cultural issues in hearings in Aboriginal land rights claims in the Northern Territory of Australia

    Peter R. A. Gray


    Section II The linguist as expert in the legal process

    2.1 Expert and process

    22 The forensic linguist

    The expert linguist meets the adversarial system

    Lawrence M. Solan


    23 Trademark linguistics

    Trademarks: language that one owns

    Ronald R. Butters


    24 Speaker profiling and forensic voice comparison

    The auditory-acoustic approach

    Michael Jessen


    25 Forensic phonetics and automatic speaker recognition

    The complementarity of human- and machine-based forensic speaker comparison

    Dominic Watt and Georgina Brown


    26 Forensic transcription

    The case for transcription as a dedicated branch of linguistic science

    Helen Fraser


    27 Consumer product warnings

    Composition, identification and assessment of adequacy

    Bethany K. Dumas


    28 Terrorism and forensic linguistics

    Linguistics in terrorism cases

    Roger W. Shuy


    2.2 Multilingualism in legal contexts

    29 Non-native speakers in detention

    Assessing the English language proficiency of non-native speakers in detention: an expert witness account

    Fiona English


    30 Court interpreting

    The need to raise the bar: court interpreters as specialized experts

    Sandra Hale


    31 Interpreting outside the courtroom

    ‘A shattered mirror?’ Interpreting in law enforcement contexts outside the courtroom

    Krzysztof Kredens, Eloísa Monteoliva-García and Ruth Morris


    2.3 Authorship and opinion

    32 Experts and opinions

    In my opinion

    Malcolm Coulthard


    33 Forensic stylistics

    The theory and practice of forensic stylistics

    Gerald R. McMenamin


    34 Text messaging forensics

    Txt 4n6: idiolect free authorship analysis?

    Tim Grant


    35 Plagiarism

    Evidence-based detection and analysis in forensic contexts

    Rui Sousa-Silva


    36 Computational forensic linguistics

    Computer-assisted document comparison

    David Woolls


    Section III New directions

    37 Corpus approaches to forensic linguistics

    Applying corpus data and techniques in forensic contexts

    David Wright


    38 Corpora and legal interpretation

    Corpus approaches to ordinary meaning in legal interpretation

    Stefan Th. Gries


    39 Police crisis negotiation

    An assessment of existing models

    Dawn Archer and Matt Todd


    40 Investigative linguistics

    Jack Grieve and Helena Woodfield


    41 'Prison has been a proper punishment'

    Investigating stance in forensic and legal contexts

    Tammy Gales


    42 Pranksters, provocateurs, propagandists

    Using forensic corpus linguistics to identify and understand trolling

    Claire Hardaker


    43 Concluding remarks

    Future directions

    Malcolm Coulthard, Alison May and Rui Sousa-Silva




    Malcolm Coulthard is Emeritus Professor of Forensic Linguistics at Aston University, UK. He was Foundation President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists and founding co-editor of the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law (IJSLL) and is co-editor of the international journal Language and Law/Linguagem e Direito.

    Alison May (formerly Johnson) is Lecturer in English Language at the University of Leeds, UK. She is co-author of An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics: Language in Evidence, 2nd edn. (with Malcolm Coulthard and David Wright, Routledge, 2017) and co-editor of the International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law.

    Rui Sousa-Silva is Assistant Professor and researcher of the Faculty of Arts and Humanities of the University of Porto, Portugal. He is Publicity Officer of the International Association of Forensic Linguists and co-editor of the international journal Language and Law/Linguagem e Direito.

    'An exciting new edition of the original ground-breaking forensic linguistics handbook, featuring more than 20 new authors, joining almost 30 of the original authors. The new and updated chapters bring additional depth and breadth, and greater global diversity to this valuable resource. A must-read for scholars, researchers and practitioners in the rapidly developing field of language and the law.'

    Diana Eades, University of New England, Australia

    From reviews of the first edition:

    '... the editors have done a masterful job in providing the needed broad coverage in forensic linguistics, and helped the reader to draw connections and to cross-reference between the variety of papers presented.' - Australian Review of Applied Linguistics