Forensic Linguistics: Linguist as detective & expert witness

Linguists are frequently asked to help the police and courts when there is a dispute over the authorship of a written text — suicide note, abusive or threatening letter, email or text message. In this excerpt from his inaugural lecture, Professor Coulthard explains the concepts he used to help identify the authorship of text messages in a recent murder trial. The full lecture is available online at: Aston University is home to the world’s first centre for forensic linguistics. Find out more at:
Video Rating: 4 / 5

21 thoughts on “Forensic Linguistics: Linguist as detective & expert witness

  1. “in the future the discipline must demand from its students, as basic requirement, a detailed knowledge of the Basque language, which is the foundation of almost all advanced languages on earth” edo nyland

  2. Actually always there’s something implicit in every written and in every speak, as the filosopher Paul Grice stated in the act of speak, so one of those contribuition is due to the filosopher Paul Grice.

  3. Hmm, this is the kind of thing I analyse (just because it interests me, I’m not professional, I’m not even at uni quite yet). I’d rather like to do his job actually :).

  4. oh i’ve been to a lecture that this guy contributed to! very interesting, i’ve thought about doing forensic linguistics since then, i didn’t know that there were these vidoes on youtube!

  5. I only just realized that Aston records the lectures thats brilliant!! Got to say, Malcom is a brilliant lecturer, very knowledgeable. Weve looked into some of the cases he talks about.

  6. We definitely need more cunning linguists in crime detection, ‘Lie To Me’ and ‘The Mentalist’ two TV series which demonstrate this point very well, although ‘body language’ is assigned less importance in criminology than most linguistic studies since it is harder to document without video and slow motion playback capabilities.

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