18. April 2023
Wirtschaftsuniversität Wien, Department für Fremdsprachliche Wirtschaftskommunikation
Using corpus-linguistic methods for forensic analysis: current trends and future directions
Abstract: This talk explores the ways in which corpus linguistics has been, and can be, applied to forensic linguistic data. It will discuss the theoretical basis for using corpus techniques, and make an argument as to why it is an ideal method to use in both forensic casework, and in academic research. In the first half of the talk, I will draw upon examples from real-life casework. This will include, for example, an exploration of how the method has been used to solve cases of authorship attribution, where a specific author is unknown or contested; and cases where the method has been used to aid in the interpretation of the law (where large linguistic databases offer clues to the answer). In the second half of the talk, I will delve into studies exploring traditional areas of forensic corpus linguistics, such as courtroom discourse and deception detection, but also emerging topics, such as disinformation. The talk concludes by offering some thoughts and tentative predictions about the future of the field.