Make up a summary of the text (in English).



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Make up a summary of the text (in English).



TEXT 2

 

 

THE WORK OF A FORENSIC LINGUIST

 

1. Read the text and answer the following questions:

1. What areas of life have linguists extended their work since XIX century?

2. What kind of matters do they examine nowadays?

3. What are the stages of a legal proceeding?

4. Why is the work of a forensic linguist important at the investigative stage?

5. What does the work of a forensic linguist consist of at the trial stage?

6. Why may a forensic linguist’s assistance be necessary at the appeal stage?

 

Today linguistics spreads to all areas of life. For decades linguists have extended their work to such areas as medical communication, advertising and to the interrelation between law and language. The dialogue of these fields of science has begun since XIX century and developed more and more. For example, in the 70-es of the XX century the demand of society to create an understandable language of judicial procedure promoted the cooperation of jurisprudence and linguistics, in 80-es and 90-es discussion of fresh wording of legislation was held in the presence of linguists. Lately the process of the legal harmonization in the EU and the development of the market and new means of communication have become the most important factors in the development of this dialogue. As a result linguists have begun examining such matters as voice identification, authorship of written documents, unclear jury instructions, lawyer-client communication breakdown, the nature of perjury, problems in written legal discourse, defamation, trademark infringement, courtroom interpretation and translation difficulties, the adequacy of warning labels, and the nature of tape recorded conversation used as evidence.

The work of forensic linguists is important at all stages of a legal proceeding namely the investigative stage, the trial stage and the appeal stage. The investigative stage is also sometimes referred to as the intelligence stage. In this part of the process it is important to gather information relating to the alleged crime. Not all of the information which is gathered during investigations can be used in court, and so a linguist who assists law enforcement officers during the intelligence stage may, in fact, find that there is no requirement to give evidence at any subsequent trial. Examples of linguistics intelligence work are included analysis of ransom notes, letters purporting to provide information on a case, mobile (cell) phone text messages, and specific threat letters. Linguists have also been asked to analyze texts purporting to be suicide notes. Even though the police in such cases may not suspect anybody, it could be important to establish whether the questioned text can throw any light on the cause or circumstances of death. Also at the investigative stage, the police may need to have an opinion on a text or an interview tape, perhaps to assist in developing interrogation strategies. It is unlikely that anything a linguist says about veracity would be acceptable evidence in court, which is why this kind of linguistic analysis is usually confined to the investigative stage.

At the trial stage any one of a number of types of linguistic analysis may be called for, including questions of authorship (Who wrote the text? /Who is the speaker in this recording?), meaning and interpretation (Does this word mean x, y or something else?), threat analysis (Does the text contain a threat?), or text provenance and construction (Was the text dual‑authored? Was it written rather than spoken? etc).

If a defendant is convicted of a crime it is common, especially these days, for the defence legal team to launch an appeal almost immediately. The structure and nature of appeals varies from country to country, and in some countries appeals are based on the claim that new evidence has been made available, or that existing evidence should be looked at in new ways. It is becoming increasingly common for linguists to be called in to assist legal counsel at the appeal stage, either because there may be some dispute about the wording, interpretation or authorship of a statement or confession made to police, or because a new interpretation of a forensic text (such as a suicide or ransom note) may have become apparent since the conviction.

 

2. Fill in the table using information from the text. Add your own ideas:

Stages of a legal proceeding      
Examples of documents forensic linguists work with      
What does their work include?      


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