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Description - An Introduction to Forensic Linguistics by Malcolm Coulthard

High profile cases such as the Birmingham Six, the Bridgwater Four and David Bentley have highlighted the essential work of forensic linguists in assisting the work of the courts. Introducing Forensic Linguistics is an accessible textbook, providing readers with a comprehensive overview of this dynamic field of study, broadly defined as the interface of language and the law. Topics covered include: the collection of evidence by police officers: the caution, the interview and the statement the discourse of 999/911 calls courtroom interaction and the role of the court interpreter/legal translator legal language and the Plain English Movement problematic texts, such as Temporary Restraining Orders, and issues of comprehension forensic phonetics, including speaker recognition, 'earwitnesses' and 'voice-line-ups' disputed police records and authorship identification. Written by experienced teachers who are also leaders in their field, Introducing Forensic Linguistics is fully illustrated with authentic data and contemporary case studies. Concluding with guided further reading, it is the essential survey of this important field.

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Book Details

ISBN: 9780415320245
ISBN-10: 0415320240
Format: Hardback
(234mm x 156mm x 16mm)
Pages: 252
Imprint: Routledge
Publisher: Taylor & Francis Ltd
Publish Date: 30-Nov-2007
Country of Publication: United Kingdom

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Book Review: Introduction to Forensic Linguistics by Malcolm Coulthard - Reviewed by (03 Jun 2017)


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.

Books By Malcolm Coulthard

Introduction to Forensic Linguistics by Malcolm Coulthard
Hardback, July 2016
Advances in Written Text Analysis by Malcolm Coulthard
Hardback, February 2016
Introduction to Discourse Analysis by Malcolm Coulthard
Hardback, December 2015
Studies in Discourse Analysis by Malcolm Coulthard
Paperback, December 2015