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How can we use linguistics to solve crimes? In this course, students will learn how linguistic analysis is used in legal settings. We ask (1) What can a spoken or written text tell us about its author(s)? (2) What factors facilitate author attribution and what factors complicate it? (3) Is there really such a thing as a 'linguistic fingerprint', allowing us to categorically identify someone just from a recording of their voice or a piece of their writing? And (4) What is involved in 'being a forensic linguist'?
How can we use linguistic evidence to solve crimes? What does linguistic analysis tell us about legal language? In this course, students learn how linguistics is used in forensic settings. We ask:1. What can a piece of spoken or written language tell us about its authors? 2. How do we evaluate whether a speaker is telling the truth? 3. Can linguistic analysis expose inequalities and injustices in the legal system?4. What are the social implications of using linguistic evidence outside the courtroom?
Through their experiences with this course, students will be able to:Describe how we can apply linguistic analysis to forensic questionsCategorize the most common types of linguistic evidence and their usesSynthesize common principles from the analysis of legal languageEvaluate the role of linguistic evidence outside of legal domains
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Any 15 points at any level from any subject.
and Lynn Clark
Coulthard, Malcolm. , Johnson, Alison, Wright, David;
An Introduction to forensic linguistics : language in evidence;
Optional readings will be distributed on Learn.
To access the Learn page for the course, go to Learn and log in with your usual UC username and password. You will see a menu of the courses you are enrolled in.
Domestic fee $777.00
International fee $3,375.00
* Fees include New Zealand GST and do not include any programme level discount or additional course related expenses.
This course will not be offered if fewer than 20 people apply to enrol.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences.