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Forensic Linguistics I (SET001)

This module introduces students to the study of language in the legal process. After identifying some general features of legal language and legal communication, we will examine the discourse characteristics of a range of forensic settings, from the language of the police station to the language of the courtroom. We will analyse authentic data from UK, US and Australian sources, including police interviews and trial interaction. We shall also look at interaction with specific ‘vulnerable witness’ groups such as children, the disabled, non-native speakers of English and victims of rape/sexual assault. Finally, we shall carry out ethnographic observation in the courtroom and discuss ethical issues and problems of access to forensic data.

In addition to being a compulsory module for the MA in Forensic Linguistics, it is also possible to take Forensic Linguistics 1 as an optional module on the MA in Applied Linguistics.