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Query Details

Query Subject:   query- speaker recognition in audio tapes given in evidence
Author:   Fay Wouk
Submitter Email:  click here to access email

Query:   I have been approached by a local law firm for assistance in a cour
case, but do not have the expertise required. They came to me because
I do conversation analysis, but this is really something different,
although it does relate to recorded conversation.

The situation is as follows: police witnesses are making claims abou
the identity of speakers for individual turns on an audio tape being
used as evidence. The law firm feels that the assignment of speakers
to turns is being done in an arbitrary fashion, and doubts its
accuracy. It is, of course, crucial to the case to know who said
what. They would like an expert witness who could say why the
accuracy is questionable. While I know from personal experience tha
it can be difficult to identify the speaker of certain turns in
multi-party conversation, they want actual scientific explanations
for why impressionistic identity assignment might be a problem, and
how one can accurately assign identity. (I have not yet listened to
their tapes, but will have an opportunity to do so.)

If anyone has any experience with such matters, or knows of any
published material relating to it, or has any ideas about how to go
about doing this, please contact me. If you think you might be able
to help, but you're still not really sure what I'm asking, or need
more detail, please contact me with clarification questions.

Time is of the essence - the case is already in trial, so please
respond as soon as you possibly can.

If there is interest in the topic, I will post a summary to the list.


Fay Wouk
Senior Lecturer in Linguistics
Department of Applied Language Studies and Linguistics
University of Auckland
Private Bag 92019
New Zealand

LL Issue: 14.751
Date posted: 14-Mar-2003


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