Forensic Linguistics Intelligence

- online since 1999

About Forensic Linguistics


What is forensic linguistics?

Technical description: Forensic linguistics is the study, analysis and measurement of language in the context of crime, judicial procedure, or disputes in law, including the preparation and giving of written and oral evidence.

Explanation: The study of any text or item of spoken language which has relevance to a criminal or civil dispute, or which relates to what goes on in a court of law, or to the language of the law itself. Thus the linguist may be called upon to analyse a very wide variety of documents, e.g. agreements relating to ancient territorial disputes, the quality of court interpreting, an allegation of "verballing" (claims by defendants that their statements were altered by police officers), a disputed will, a suicide note, a ransom demand, etc.


Types of forensic text

We investigate documents of all kinds in all types of criminal allegation, including:
malicious communication, defamation (slander and libel), bullying and harassment, murder, robbery and burglary, assault, including sexual assault, child molestation and child pornography.


What is forensic linguistics?

This article discusses the discipline of Forensic Linguistics. It begins by describing what Forensic Linguistics is, namely the interface between linguistics (the science of language) and the law, including law enforcement. It then outlines the history and development of Forensic Linguistics from its beginnings in the 1950’s and 1960’s to the present day. A section on Forensic Phonetics is included, and the article concludes with how Forensic Linguistics works in the justice system and some of the difficulties that linguists and lawyers may have in understanding each others’ viewpoints.

What is Forensic Linguistics? [PDF doc]