Forensic Linguistics: An Introduction to Language, Crime, and the Law

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A&C Black, Jan 1, 2004 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 269 pages
The book is intended to be the core text for forensic linguistic courses at the undergraduate level, and the key text for postgraduate research students wishing to gain an overall grasp of the subject. The author has based his text on his personal experience as a practicing forensic linguist working with lawyers and police in the United States and Great Britain. Forensic Linguistics contains detailed studies of all the major areas of the discipline, including the detection of plagiarism, the observation of style change, and an analysis of all of the most important types of forensic text, including ransom demands, suicide notes, hate mail, smear mail, trick mail, and terrorist mail. Perhaps one of the greatest assets of the book is its discussion of specific forensic texts including the "stalker text" from John Hinkley, an excerpt from the Unabomber case, several 17th century Salem witch trial "confessions," Virginia Woolf's suicide note, and ransom notes from the Lindbergh kidnapping and Carlos the Jackal. Uniquely, Olsson looks not only at techniques for use in forensic linguistics per se, but also at how forensic linguistics can be of use to law enforcement and criminal justice professionals at the investigation level. This makes the book uniquely authoritative, giving it a practical "hands-on" appeal to linguists and non-linguists alike.
 

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Contents

CHAPTER 2
31
Tables
53
Texts
126
Forensic text types
141
Phonetics
171
The forensic cookbook
191
Exercises
209
Texts
219
Endnotes
251
Index
261
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About the author (2004)

Since 1996, John Olsson has operated a world-renowned forensic linguistics consultancy and training service at www.thetext.co.uk. He is an Adjunct Professor at Nebraska Wesleyan University, USA, where he teaches forensic linguistics online. He is also Visiting Professor of Forensic Linguistics at the International University of Novi Pazar in Serbia where he runs an annual summer school in Forensic Linguistics, and is a board member of the Language and Law Centre at the University of Zagreb, Croatia, where he is also a visiting Professor.

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