Read the text and choose the most suitable heading bellow for each of the numbered paragraphs. One heading is an odd one out.

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Read the text and choose the most suitable heading bellow for each of the numbered paragraphs. One heading is an odd one out.


· Linguistic evidence

· Language of written texts

· Language of the law

· Language of the judicial process



Forensic linguistics can be fairly characterized as taking linguistic knowledge, methods and insight, and applying them to the forensic context of law, investigation, trial, punishment and rehabilitation. It is not a homogenous discipline in its interest, methods or approach and involves a wide spectrum of practitioners and researchers applying themselves to different areas of the field. (1________)


Any brush with legal language whether it is a mortgage agreement or the language of a will can leave one wondering why it is so complex and difficult to read. (2_______) For example, Peter Tiersma is currently working on the reforming of the language of jury instructions.


The judicial process from point of arrest, through interview, charge, trial and sentencing is substantially linguistic and linguists have studied all aspects of this process. (3_______) There is some concentration on issues of language disadvantage in interviews whether this concerns those individuals that psychologists consider vulnerable or second language users. There is interest in the language of lawyers and witnesses and the effectiveness of linguistic strategies in cross-examinations.

Linguists have been called to give expert testimony in a variety of types of cases across UK and international jurisdictions. (4_______) As language is ultimately about the communication of meaning it is perhaps unsurprising that linguists sometimes give testimony as to what a person meant. One of the most celebrated linguist working in this area is Roger Shuy who has shown that a dispute over a threat, bribe or other language crime can be illuminated by a careful conversation and analysis.

Trademark disputes often concern questions of when a trademarked term begins to be used generically. Such situations can lead to the death of the trademark. For example if the generic verb to search the internet becomes 'to google' then Google will suffer trademark death, lose its legal protection and become a term any search engine can use. The examination of this process and whether it has occurred in a particular case is also an area where linguists have testified. In some cases a text of disputed authorship is compared with texts of known authorship in order to try to link texts by the same author. Such authorship analysis evidence has been used in a variety of cases across the UK, USA and Australian jurisdictions. (5__________)

The following sentences have been removed from the text. Decide in which numbered gap each one should go. (There is one extra sentence which you don’t have to use).


AThe vast majority of cases where linguists are involved concern issues of linguistic competence.


BThere are perhaps three main areas of application for linguists working in forensic contexts; understanding language of the written law, understanding language use in forensic and judicial processes and the provision of linguistic evidence.


CLinguists, for example, have a considerable interest in the language of police (and other) interviews of witnesses and suspects.

DForensic linguist applies linguistic knowledge and techniques to the language used in legal cases or proceedings and private disputes between parties which may result in legal action.

ELinguists are interested in the nature of the complexity of legal language and also whether anything can be done about it.


FEvidential texts have varied considerably in length and type in recent cases from SMS text messages to long terrorist conspiracy documents.

Define the main idea of the text and express it in one or two sentences.

II. Vocabulary Work

1. Write down the words which mean the following:




1. the clearness of speech

2. a short characteristics of a speaker (his/her age, sex, social background, etc.)

3. intentional changing of a voice or appearance

4. a call or warning that give you false information

5. pragmatics deals with this type of meaning

6. the origin of the text

7. the process of correction, organization and other modifications of either a tape or a video

8. the branch of phonetics that deals with physical characteristics of speech sound

9. speech defects

10. method of speaker identification by witnesses, when they must recognize suspect’s voice among other voices


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