LINGUIST List 13.3153

Mon Dec 2 2002

Confs: Ling Evidence for Forensic Purposes

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  1. Louise McNally, Ling Evidence for Forensic Purposes, Barcelona Spain

Message 1: Ling Evidence for Forensic Purposes, Barcelona Spain

Date: Mon, 02 Dec 2002 10:52:27 +0100
From: Louise McNally <>
Subject: Ling Evidence for Forensic Purposes, Barcelona Spain


Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada (IULA)
Universitat Pompeu Fabra (UPF)

Barcelona, April 24-25, 2003

The international workshop on 'The use of linguistic evidence for
forensic purposes: concepts, methods and applications' has been set up
to attain a two-fold aim:

a) to contribute to the discussion of forensic linguistic matters at an
international level, by bringing together some of the most world-known
forensic linguists with a long practice around the world, and 

b) in so doing, to help to launch forensic linguistics in Spain, where
some professional people have acted as experts, but their practice has
been very isolated.

Also, the launching of forensic linguistics has to be viewed in the
context of the stronger links to be established between academics and

As the Forensic Linguistics web page states: 

"Forensic Linguistics can be defined as the interface between
language and the law. This discipline includes the study of a number of
areas, which have to do with the use of linguistic evidence within
diverse public contexts and professional settings such as: 

- The use of linguistic evidence (phonological, morphological,
syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, discourse) in court to identify speakers
and writers of a specific linguistic variety, style or register.
- The analysis of signature and text forgery with criminal ends.
- The analysis of authorship attribution of both spoken and written
- The readability/comprehensibility of legal documents.
- Courtroom discourse.
- Legal interpretation and translation in multilingual settings "

>From a methodological point of view forensic linguistics expertise
and research is implemented by means of a series of tools, software,
and quality statistics which allow forensic linguists to show a much
more rigorous and scientific performance to be used by the public
administration (magistrates, the judicial school, the police) and
private institutions and companies, and also by professional people
(judges, lawyers, attorneys, solicitors, notaries, psychologists,

It was not until the nineties that forensic linguistics emerged very
forcefully. Firstly, the experts' performance became much more
professionalized; secondly, an increase in the publication of articles
and chapters in a number of forensic linguistics topics took place,
and their content was much more methodologically grounded than before;
thirdly, the International Association of Forensic Linguistics was
founded in 1992, and finally, Forensic Linguistics: The International
Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, a peer-reviewed journal
published twice a year in June and December, published its first issue
in 1994.

The pioneer, technological and applied character of forensic
linguistics seems to be sufficient to justify its general and
particular interest and thus the organisation of this workshop, which
will become an interdisciplinary forum of discussion involving the
participation of law scholars, computer science technicians and

The workshop will be organised around 40-45 minute presentations 
followed by a 10-minute debate period.

Enrique Alcaraz, Universitat d'Alacant.
Linguistica y lenguaje forense. 
Teoria y practica: analisis de tres casos practicos.

Janet Cotterill, Cardiff University.
Linguistics Applied: exploring the analytical boundaries of Forensic

Malcolm Coulthard, The University of Birmingham.
On the use of linguistic evidence for forensic purposes: concepts,
applications and methodology in cases of disputed authorship.

Carlos Delgado Romero, Policia Cientifica de Madrid.
La Linguistica en las tecnicas de investigacion forense del habla.

Peter French, The University of Birmingham & York University.
Uses of Forensic Speech Analysis Evidence in Criminal Investigations and

John Gibbons, Hong Kong Baptist University.
Control of information and control of the interviewee in questioning in
legal contexts.

Joaquin Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Universidad Politecnica de Madrid.
Forensic Analysis of Speech Evidences Under the Bayesian Approach with
Automatic Speaker Recognition Systems.

Sandra Hale, University of Western Sydney.
The impact of the interpreter on the evaluation of witness character in
the adversarial system.

M. Angeles Orts, Universidad de Murcia.
The room for complexity in contractual cases. Analysis of two legal

Luis Perez Gonzalez, Universidad Europea de Madrid.
Perspectivas de desarrollo del peritaje linguistico en Espana:
Condicionantes especificos de un marco legal cambiante

Dolors Poch, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona & Bernard Harmegnies,
Universite de Mons-Hainaut.
La fonetica forense ante la variabilidad del habla.

Larry Solan, Brooklyn Law School (New York).
Forensic Linguistics in American Courts.

Roger Shuy, Georgetown University (Washington D.C.).
What Can Linguistics Say About Criminal Intent?

Peter Tiersma, Loyola Law School (Los Angeles)
Linguistic Experts on Meaning and Interpretation in American Courts

M. Teresa Turell, Universitat Pompeu Fabra.
How can quantitative analysis support qualitative evidence in cases of
plagiarism in literary translation?

David Woolls, CFL Software Development (Odiham, Hook, Hampshire).
Saying the same things differently; saying different things the same
way. Rapid diagnosis and detailed investigation of academic malpractice
using electronic tools.

The workshop language will be English, although a few presentations will
be in Spanish, in which case conference interpreting will be available.

M. Teresa Turell
Head of the Language Variation Research Unit (UVAL)
Institut Universitari de Linguistica Aplicada
Universitat Pompeu Fabra
c/ La Rambla 30-32
Tel: +34 93 542 22 50
Fax: +34 93 542 23 21

Registration & hotel booking: to be announced soon.
Conference Office: to be announced soon.
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