WORDS AND THE LAW: THE WELL-ESTABLISHED TEXT ON FORENSIC LINGUISTICS – NOW IN A NEW SECOND EDITION
An appreciation Elizabeth Taylor of Richmond Green Chambers and Phillip Taylor MBE of “The Barrister”
As words and word meanings are at the very core and essence of the law and the practice of law, this well-established textbook on forensic linguistics should be of prime interest to every lawyer. The book’s subtitle ‘language in evidence’ indicates the importance of forensic linguistics and its direct relevance in almost all legal matters.
In the ten years since the first edition came out, this pioneering text has established itself as the essential introductory work of reference in this field. Now, Routledge, part of the Taylor & Francis Group which is an Informa business, have published it in a new edition, radically updated and containing much new material. Following the introduction (which is new), the book continues in two parts. One deals with the language of the legal process; the other covers the language of evidence.
Naturally, the book examines issues relating to the language of legal documents and of the police and law enforcement. There is of course, much more, including a discussion of the linguist as expert witness.
There are two other areas in particular which will make intellectual property lawyers sit up and take notice: the linguistic investigation of plagiarism -- and authorship attribution. Copycat creatives beware -- and educationalists -- note the section on universities and plagiarism.
A particularly interesting chapter concerns emergency services calls and police interviewing, with excerpts from key points in the various verbal exchanges. As with the famous case of assassinated presidential candidate Robert F. Kennedy, ‘the call begins a process that leads to a murder enquiry.’
One of the fascinating aspects of this book is that it demonstrates the ways in which the techniques of forensic linguistics have been applied to actual cases. There is much useful advice here for the advocate.
With its objective, scholarly approach and lucid, readable style, this book should be in the library of every lawyer and law student. Note especially, the twenty-two page bibliography with its wealth of references for the avid researcher.
The publication date is cited as at 2017 and the title is available as a hardback, a paperback and an ebook.