LINGUIST List 21.1048

Wed Mar 03 2010

Support: Forensic Linguistics: PhD Student, University of York, UK

Editor for this issue: Matthew Lahrman <>

        1.    Paul Foulkes, Forensic Linguistics: PhD Student, University of York, United Kingdom

Message 1: Forensic Linguistics: PhD Student, University of York, United Kingdom
Date: 25-Feb-2010
From: Paul Foulkes <>
Subject: Forensic Linguistics: PhD Student, University of York, United Kingdom
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Institution/Organization: University of York Department: Language and Linguistic Science Web Address:

Level: PhD

Duties: Research

Specialty Areas: Forensic Linguistics; Phonetics; Psycholinguistics Acoustics

Calculation of likelihood ratios using phonetic and linguistic features.

This announcement has been reposted with updated Application Deadline here:

Salary: £28,579 - £31,031 per annum, plus generous travel allowances and careerexploratory allowances, which are available under Marie Curie ITN provisions.

The post is available from 1 May 2010, or as soon as possible thereafter, for aperiod of three years. You must complete a doctoral dissertation within threeyears of the start date.

The Role

You will work on a project developing phonetic-acoustic comparison of speech inan LR framework. The project is funded by the Marie Curie Training NetworkBayesian Biometrics for Forensics, which consists of 12 European researchinstitutes and associated partners. The post will be based at York, but you willbe required to spend a period at another Network institute, and you will alsohave the opportunity to gain experience in a commercial or forensic laboratory.

You will have a Masters degree in Linguistics, Phonetics and/or Acoustics,Statistics or Psychology; be capable of rapidly attaining a thorough knowledgeand understanding of statistics, including likelihood ratios and Bayesianprinciples, and have a high level of competence in written and spoken English.

Eligibility criteria are quite complex. It must be less than four years sincecompletion of your most recent degree and you cannot have been resident in theUK for a total of more than 12 months in the last three years. UK nationals aregenerally not eligible to apply. Further details about the eligibility criteriacan be found in the further information for the post.

The Project

Calculation of likelihood ratios using phonetic and linguistic features.

Supervisors: Professor Peter French (York) and Dr Didier Meuwly (NetherlandsForensic Institute)

The most prevalent strain of forensic speaker comparison work across Europeanexperts and institutions involves auditory-phonetic and acoustic examinations ofspeech samples on a wide range of parameters including voice quality,intonation, rhythm and consonant and vowel realisations.

Those working within this tradition express their conclusions within a varietyof different frameworks. Most do not currently utilise a likelihood ratio(logical inference) framework, which is acknowledged to be the goal for forensicscience generally.

There are practical difficulties in interpreting the results of a phoneticacoustic comparison of speech samples in a likelihood ratio framework. Theseinclude the use of speech data from the appropriate sections of the backgroundpopulation to estimate empirically the evidential value of the results and tocombine them in an overall statistical assessment. The aim of the project is tofind solutions to these problems, thus paving the way for forensic speakercomparison work to become conceptually aligned with more developed areas offorensic science such as DNA analysis.

Applications Deadline: 25-Jul-2010

Web Address for Applications:,0248236823&key=3997284&c=837956365614&pagestamp=sexifrlmocyecbstpu

Contact Information:         Prof Peter French

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