What is forensic Linguistics?

Forensic Linguistics is the use of linguistics in the service of the law: for investigation, defense and prosecution, in civil and criminal matters (and increasingly in counter terrorism and intelligence).

It is the application of any knowledge or theoretical understanding that the science of linguistics can offer that may be useful in the circumstances of a given case.

Issues of language use, meaning, and identification, are central to legal matters; while these are usually dealt with successfully by legal and law enforcement professionals, from time to time expert linguists contribute theoretical and/or analytical skills that are helpful or decisive.

A good summary of the scope and application for forensic linguistics is given in the recent UK Parliamentary Office of Science & Technology Post Note.

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