Language and Law / Linguagem e Direito 2022-11-23T12:30:33+00:00 Rui Sousa-Silva Open Journal Systems <p><strong><em>Language and Law / Linguagem e Direito</em></strong> is a leading international bilingual, bi-annual journal that publishes original research, review articles and book reviews on the fields of Forensic Linguistics / Language and Law. The journal is completely electronic and entirely open access. LL/LD publishes articles across the whole spectrum of the discipline and from both practitioners (e.g. chiefs of police, public prosecutors, professional translators and interpreters, expert witnesses) and academic researchers (lawyers and linguists).</p> New Trends in Forensic Linguistics 2022-11-22T08:52:09+00:00 Tahmineh Tayebi Malcolm Coulthard <p>.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Tahmineh Tayebi, Malcolm Coulthard The Aston Forensic Linguistic Databank (FoLD) 2022-11-22T08:55:29+00:00 Marton Petyko et al. <p>The Aston Forensic Linguistic Databank (FoLD) is a permanent,<br>controlled access online repository for forensic linguistic data. We broadly<br>understand forensic linguistics as any academic research with a potential to<br>improve the delivery of justice through the analysis of language. FoLD thus<br>comprises a wide range of datasets with relevance to forensic linguistics and<br>language and law, including commercial extortion letters, investigative interviews<br>in police and other contexts, legal documents, forum posts from far-right online<br>groups, and comment threads from political blogs. This paper outlines how FoLD<br>works and its potential impact on the general discipline of forensic linguistics.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Marton Petyko, et al. For the Record 2022-11-22T09:02:35+00:00 Felicity Deamer et al. <p>Recent research (Haworth 2018) has demonstrated how investigative<br>interview data are (unintentionally) distorted as they pass through the criminal<br>justice system, and the survey-based experiment we present here was designed<br>to test our hypothesis that various aspects of the processing of police-suspect<br>interview data may have an impact on the quality of the official evidential<br>document produced. The quantitative and qualitative findings from this<br>experiment shed light on, and provide a sound evidence base for this claim, rather<br>than leaving it as an untested assumption. The experiment was designed to<br>test each key aspect of the current process of the production of routine written<br>transcripts of investigative interviews (ROTIs), focusing on the conversion from<br>spoken to written format, and the use of different transcription conventions, and<br>it has enabled us to investigate which changes make the most difference in terms<br>of the evidential quality of the end product, in order to effect a change in practice<br>which will reduce or eliminate the effect of those changes. Our findings suggest<br>that when presented with a transcript of a police interview, we are significantly<br>more likely to (1) perceive the interviewee as anxious and unrelaxed, (2) interpret<br>the interviewee’s behaviour as being agitated, aggressive, defensive, and nervous,<br>(3) determine that the interviewee is un-calm and uncooperative, and (4) deem<br>the interviewee’s version of events to be untrue, than we are if we listen to the<br>original audio recording. Moreover, subjects identified (a) consistency, (b) phrase<br>and lexical choice, (c) emotion (crying/upset), (d) hesitation and/or pauses as<br>significant factors influencing participants’ perception and interpretation of the<br>interviewee and their story. This is particularly concerning as the latter two<br>features are not currently routinely included in police transcripts, and Haworth<br>(2018) illustrates multiple ways in which transcripts might differ from the original<br>audio recordings they are intended to replace, with respect to words and phrases,<br>as well as general content. The findings presented in this paper provide a strong<br>motivation for further research into how we capture spoken interaction in legal<br>contexts, and they constitute something of a mandate for reform with respect to<br>the transcription of police interviews in the UK.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Felicity Deamer, et al. Killer stance 2022-11-22T09:05:46+00:00 Madison Hunter Tim Grant <p>An individual’s set of psychological traits, or their psychopathology,<br>impacts howthey experience theworld around them, and language offers resources<br>that allow for that experience to be shared with and communicated to someone<br>else. That language can then be analyzed for patterns and their connections<br>to the psychological traits. In a forensic context, such connections may give<br>valuable insights. There already exist psychological and linguistic approaches<br>to the analysis of forensic texts, but the psychological approach largely lacks<br>grounding in linguistic theory and the linguistic approach does not typically allow<br>consideration of psychological characteristics. What this paper aims to provide<br>is a step toward bridging that gap. In this paper we examine the system of<br>attitude from the Appraisal framework developed by Martin and White (2005) and<br>adapted by Gales (2010) and Hurt (2020) applying this to the writings of four serial<br>murderers with documented mental health diagnoses. Significant patterns in the<br>attitudinal resources were identified quantitatively and examined qualitatively<br>through the lens of the psychological traits that comprised the authors’ diagnoses<br>to determine if there was a relationship between them. Despite the obvious<br>limitation presented by the sample size, the results of this study suggest the<br>approach presented in this paper warrants further investigation.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Madison Hunter, Tim Grant The importance of being heard 2022-11-22T09:08:40+00:00 Tatiana Grieshofer <p>The article explores narrativisation practices in small claims cases and<br>private family proceedings, focusing predominantly on cases where at least one<br>of the parties is not represented by a lawyer. By drawing on the data collected<br>during court observations and analysed using the ethnography of communication<br>as the main methodological framework, the study identifies narrative genres<br>across different stages of legal proceedings and illustrates communication barriers<br>experienced by lay court users. The discussion focuses on how formalised narrative<br>genres and the staggered presentation of narratives impact the degree to which<br>court users can use their voice. The article also links the notion of voice projection<br>to procedural justice and suggests that the main narratives should be elicited<br>sooner as part of an open narrative strategy to ensure the court users’ voices are<br>heard by the judiciary in the initial stages of the proceedings.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Tatiana Grieshofer ‘Psy’ expert evidence in the family courts 2022-11-22T09:13:47+00:00 Lauren Devine et al. <p>This article introduces corpus-assisted linguistic methods as an<br>exploratory means of analysing expert psychologists’ reports used in public family<br>law (child protection) cases. Analysis of this dataset is a new application for corpus<br>linguistics (CL) and the primary purpose of this article is to explore viability and<br>potential for its future research using CL as a core method. For this study we have<br>created and analysed a 25 single-text-type specialised written corpus consisting of<br>25 expert psychologists’ reports (the Psychology Report Corpus “PRC-25”). The<br>reports are a random sample selected from a population of all psychologists’<br>reports held in Cafcass files over a 10-year period, representing the first corpus<br>of its kind in a currently under-researched area. Our study uses both an inductive<br>(data-driven) approach to identify significant themes and topics in the reports,<br>and a deductive (legal-intuitive) approach to explore psychologists’ use of legally<br>significant terms, especially risk of and significant harm. We also explore the<br>possibility for using this new methodological protocol to triangulate analysis<br>of a larger and representative corpus of expert psychologists’ reports, and the<br>possibilities for corpus-driven analysis of the genre of written expert evidence text<br>types more generally.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Lauren Devine, et al. Native Dialect Influence Detection (NDID) 2022-11-22T09:18:12+00:00 Andrea Mojedano Batel Mitchell Abrams Piotr Pęzik <p>The current investigation addresses a vital lacuna in forensic authorship<br>studies, and more concretely, in Native Language Influence Detection (NLID)<br>research: narrowing down a speaker’s native dialect instead of only their native<br>language (L1), which might not be enough when carrying out sociolinguistic profiling<br>tasks. Native Dialect Influence Detection (NDID), the focus of our study,<br>can thus greatly aid at the investigative level. We approach this topic by providing<br>a comprehensive analysis of linguistic features that serve to identify two<br>non-contact dialects of L1 Spanish (i.e., Mexican and Peninsular varieties) when<br>dealing with data written in L2 English, which come from Tripadvisor. Our main<br>aim is to investigate if an author’s L2 features can point to their L1 native dialect,<br>rather than only to their native language. Findings point to L1 dialectal<br>transfer of punctuation signs, adjectives of affect, and intensifiers: these linguistic<br>features, even when expressed in an L2, show a culturally bound use. Additionally,<br>we implemented an automatic classifier that achieved an accuracy of 69% in<br>categorizing test data, using only linguistic features that have explanatory power<br>and can aid linguistic theory. This is key for explainability in the forensic context,<br>which Native Language Identification (NLI) studies tend to neglect (Kingston<br>2019). Results show that L1 Spanish dialects can be differentiated by analyzing L2<br>English text, pointing to NDID as a fertile approach for narrowing down candidate<br>L1 dialects of a language when analyzing L2 data.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Andrea Mojedano Batel, Mitchell Abrams, Piotr Pęzik An investigation of the lexico-grammatical profile of English legal- lay language 2022-11-22T09:22:53+00:00 Lucia Busso <p>The article presents a study on the lexico-grammar of the genre of<br>English legal-lay language (Tiersma 1999), using the English subcorpus of the<br>CorIELLS corpus (Busso forthcoming). The study explores four grammatical<br>constructions (in Goldberg 2006’s Construction Grammar sense): nominalisations<br>heading prepositional phrase attachments, modal verb constructions, participial<br>reduced relative constructions, and passive constructions. Specifically, we use<br>collostructional analysis (Stefanowitsch 2013), followed by a vocabulary analysis<br>using English core vocabulary as a reference (Brezina and Gablasova 2015), and<br>a comparative frequency analysis with corpora of legal language and generaldomain<br>written prose. Results of this first part of the study foreground how legallay<br>language is quantitatively different from both neighbouring genres, suggesting<br>that it might be considered a “blended” genre. We further explore the data in terms<br>of accessibility for speakers, using readability metrics and a survey on English<br>participants. Both methods show that legal-lay language is at an intermediate<br>level of complexity between legal jargon and general-domain prose; however, we<br>further note that readability metrics generally underestimate speakers’ ability to<br>comprehend legal-lay language.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Lucia Busso Commercialising disadvantage 2022-11-22T09:31:04+00:00 Leigh Harrington et al. <p>The commercial bail bond industry is one of the most profitable aspects<br>of America’s highly marketized criminal justice system that is increasingly<br>shaped by neoliberal structures and ideologies. Drawing on a specialised corpus<br>of “Home” and “About Us” pages from bail bond websites, this paper is the first<br>empirical linguistic examination of commercial bail bonds discourse grounded in<br>its legal context. Using corpus-assisted critical discourse analysis, we examine<br>how bail bond companies 1) discursively present and promote their services, 2)<br>represent the legal system and its processes, and 3) construe arrest and detention<br>to prospective service users. The findings show that bail bond companies position<br>their services as an unobjectionably common (Brookes and Harvey 2017a) part<br>of legal and financial self-management by normalising, legitimising, and idealising<br>their use whilst seeking to minimise the power-imbalance between themselves<br>and their often financially and socially disempowered ‘clients’. By grounding our<br>linguistic analysis in a legal context, we demonstrate that these discourses simultaneously<br>serve whilst oppress those they purport to help, offering an example of<br>a local form of structural violence that subtly perpetuates neoliberal agendas and<br>a two-tier justice system.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Leigh Harrington, et al. Complete Issue 2022-11-22T09:41:51+00:00 Lnguage & Law <p>.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Lnguage & Law Language as Evidence. 2022-11-22T09:36:26+00:00 Karoline Marko <p>.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Karoline Marko The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics 2022-11-22T09:39:52+00:00 Georgina Heydon <p>.</p> 2022-11-22T00:00:00+00:00 Copyright (c) 2022 Georgina Heydon