LINGUIST List 24.1288

Fri Mar 15 2013

Calls: Forensic Linguistics/Brazil

Editor for this issue: Alison Zaharee <>

Date: 14-Mar-2013
From: Rui Sousa-Silva <>
Subject: Language and the Law - Bridging the Gaps
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Full Title: Language and the Law - Bridging the Gaps
Date: 11-Dec-2013 - 13-Dec-2013 Location: Florianópolis, Brazil Contact Person: Rui Sousa-Silva
Meeting Email: < click here to access email >

Linguistic Field(s): Forensic Linguistics

Call Deadline: 15-May-2013

Meeting Description:

Language and the Law - Bridging the Gaps is the first International Conference to be jointly sponsored by ALIDI (the newly formed Association for Language and Law for Speakers of Portuguese) and the IAFL (the International Association of Forensic Linguists). The official languages of the Conference will be English and Portuguese.

The conference will be jointly hosted by PPGI (the Postgraduate Programme in English) and CCJ (the Centre for Legal Sciences), both of the Federal University of Santa Catarina in Florianopolis, Brazil. Most of the Conference will take place in the Centre for Communication and Expression on the main University campus, but we hope that there will be some sessions in a Court located on the perimeter of the Campus.

Keynote Speakers:

We are delighted to announce Professor Larry Solan of the Brooklyn Law School and Dr Ricardo Molina, Brazil’s most famous Forensic Phonetician as plenary speakers. Other speakers will be announced once they have confirmed their participation.

The Federal University of Santa Catarina, (UFSC):

The Federal University is ranked as the 5th best in South America. Not only does it not charge fees for students, but it actually offers generous maintenance bursaries to a significant number of postgraduate students. There is a campus map on the fourth page of the following website, and the Conference will be located in the CCE building which is just to the left of the centre of the map.


Florianopolis is an internationally recognised tourist destination and some participants may be tempted to stay on after the conference to experience Xmas on the beach. The airport, the city, the state government and the federal university are situated all on an island, evocatively called the ‘Island of Exile’, which is some 50km long by 25Km wide. The island has 42 beautiful beaches, all good for sunbathing and many for swimming and surfing. For some enticing pictures of the island log on to ‘Brazil’s Paradise Island’, and for a more detailed, sober description see

The island was first visited by Europeans shortly after Pedro Alvarez de Cabral ‘discovered’ Brazil and claimed it for Portugal in 1500 and it became a popular place for ships to stop and restock with food and water. Indeed one of the island’s most popular beaches is named Ingleses in memory of a supposed shipwreck of English pirates in the 17th century. However the rock carving from which we derived our e logo predates the arrival of the Portuguese by at least 1,000 years.

Travel to Florianopolis:

Florianopolis is some 50 minutes by air from Sao Paulo and some 75 minutes from Rio, which are the two main International airports, but people can also fly directly into other Brazilian cities: the capital, Brasilia, has stunning public buildings designed by the architect Niemeyer; Porto Alegre would be an entry point for people who decided to visit Argentina, Chile or Uruguay first, while some may prefer to enter the country in one of the northern beach resorts of Natal, Fortaleza, Recife and Salvador.

Florianopolis airport is a mere10km from both the City Centre and the University, so Conference delegates can reach both quickly by taxi. If there is a group arriving on the same flight Acoriana can arrange for a van to meet them.

Call for Papers:

We invite Abstracts for both papers and posters on all topics within the areas of Language and the Law, Interaction in Legal Settings and Language as Evidence. We also invite proposals for Themed Colloquia and Round Tables which will be allotted two-hour slots. Abstracts and proposals should be submitted electronically via the Conference website, which will be up and running at the end of March We will assume that the language of the abstract will also be the language of the presentation.

(1) Individual Papers: Abstracts are invited for presentations of 20 minutes, with a further 10 minutes allowed for questions and discussion. Abstracts of no more than 250 words should be submitted via the conference website by May 15, 2013. Please do not include your name, affiliation and email address in the abstract itself. Submissions should also indicate the best contact email address and what equipment will be needed.

Those who have not submitted an abstract for conference paper before should remember that its purpose is to give both the reviewer, and at a later date those who are thinking of attending the presentation itself, a clear idea of what the presentation will include. Unfortunately, some abstracts spend too long detailing background research rather than the new knowledge the author intends to transmit and, possibly as a consequence, some presenters run out of time before they have managed to reveal their findings.

(2) Posters: Abstracts for posters, also no more than 250 words long, should be submitted via the conference website by May 15, 2013. Please do not include your name, affiliation and email address in the abstract itself. Submissions should also indicate the best contact email address. The Poster itself should be of A0 size (841mm x 1189mm) and in portrait orientation.

(3) Themed Colloquia and Roundtables: Proposals are invited for Themed Colloquia and Round Tables, both of which will be allotted a 2-hour slot. The organization of the allotted time will be left to the coordinator, but it should be specified in the abstract if the intention is NOT to have a format of four 20 minute papers followed by discussion. Thus typical proposals will be some 1250 words long, consisting of a 250 word abstract for the whole event written by the coordinator, plus four individual 250 word abstracts from each of the participants detailing their own contribution. All the individual component abstracts will be submitted to the same blind review process as abstracts for individual papers. Proposals should be submitted via the conference website by May 15, 2013. Please do not include names, affiliations and email addresses in the proposal itself. You should also indicate the best contact email address and what equipment will be needed.


We welcome papers on the following topics - note this list is indicative not exclusive.

Language of the Law
Comparative Law
Philosophy of Law
Statutory Interpretation
The history of legal languages
The language of legal documents
Legal Translation
Legal genres
Critical approaches to legal language
The (in)comprehensibility of legal documents
Language rights
Language education for law professionals
Interaction in Legal Settings
Investigative interviewing
Courtroom, police and prison discourse
Interviewing and (cross-)examining vulnerable witnesses
Linguistic disadvantage before the law
Multilingualism and the legal system
Language minorities and the law
Pro-se defendants
Interpreting in legal contexts
Language as Evidence
Speaker identification and voice comparison
The linguist and phonetician as expert witnesses
Forensic phonetics and speaker identification
Forensic stylistics
Authorship analysis
Linguistic profiling
The linguistic determination of nationality
Trademark disputes
Consumer product warnings
Deception and fraud

Conference Proceedings:

Participants will be invited to submit written versions of their papers for publication in a volume of Conference Proceedings. All submitted papers will be refereed.


We have reserved rooms for the conference at two hotels close to the University, Slaveiro and Quinta da Bica d’Agua and early reservations are recommended as both hotels are quite small. A single room plus breakfast costs about R$180, which at current exchange rates is £60 or EUR 70 or $90. Quinta is slightly more expensive for two and three person occupancy than the Slaveiro, and is slightly further from the university, 15 minutes walking distance as opposed to 10,, but, in compensation, it is set in a wonderful wooded area with pleasant walkways. We have negotiated significant discounts for those who book via the conference’s official travel agents, Acoriana Eventos and Acoriana can also offer alternatives for those who prefer to stay elsewhere during or after the conference, in the town centre at an International hotel like Sofitel, or at one of the beaches, perhaps at Costao de Santinho, which has been voted the best Brazilian beach resort 7 times.

Flight Discounts:

The Conference’s International Airline Partner is TAP which will offer a 10% discount on all its economy flights to Brazil and 20% on Executive flights, provided flights are booked directly on its site using a discount code which we will provide.

For all internal flights our domestic partner TAM will offer discounts of up to 20%, provided that flights are booked through Acoriana Eventos.

Page Updated: 15-Mar-2013