Forensic Linguistics

Forensic Linguistics : An Introduction to Language in the Justice System

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Forensic Linguistics is an introduction to the fascinating interface between language and the law. Examining the nature of legal language, the first half of the book demonstrates that the law is an overwhelmingly linguistic institution, since laws are coded in language and the concepts that are used to construct the law are accessible only through language. The book also explores the language of contracts and the language of legal processes, such as court cases, police investigations and the management of prisoners.The second half of Forensic Linguistics is more socially applied. It discusses the difficulty of understanding legal language, and linguistic sources of disadvantage before the law, particularly for ethnic minorities, children and abused women. The volume then considers legislation on language, including language crimes, as well as linguistic evidence.
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Product details

  • Paperback | 346 pages
  • 157 x 233 x 19mm | 536g
  • BLACKWELL PUBLISHERS
  • Oxford, United Kingdom
  • English
  • New.
  • 0631212477
  • 9780631212478
  • 768,442

Back cover copy

Forensic Linguistics is an introduction to the fascinating interface between language and the law. Examining the nature of legal language, the first half of the book demonstrates that the law is an overwhelmingly linguistic institution, since laws are coded in language and the concepts that are used to construct the law are accessible only through language. The book also explores the language of contracts and the language of legal processes, such as court cases, police investigations and the management of prisoners. The second half of Forensic Linguistics is more socially applied. It discusses the difficulty of understanding legal language, and linguistic sources of disadvantage before the law, particularly for ethnic minorities, children and abused women. The volume then considers legislation on language, including language crimes, as well as linguistic evidence.
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Table of contents

Series Editor's Preface. Examples and Conventions. 1. Introduction: The Law And Language. 2. Literacy And The Law. 3. The Pursuit Of Precision. 4. Interaction And Power. 5. Telling The Story. 6. Communication Issues In The Legal System. 7. Language And Disadvantage Before The Law. 8. Bridging The Gap. 9. Law On Language. 10. Linguistic Evidence. References. Index of Legal Cases and Legislation. Index.
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Review quote

"Forensic Linguistics fills a major gap and will be invaluable to those who teach courses on language and the law at both undergraduate and postgraduate level. It is wide ranging and accessible, with a large references section - ideal as an introduction to the subject. I will certainly use it with my own students." Malcolm Coulthard, University of Birmingham "This book brings a wealth of knowledge to the study of language and law. It should be of interest to a wide audience, including sociologists and anthropologists interested in studying such things as power relationships among participants in the legal system through close examination of linguistic behavior. The book more than meets its stated goal, "to open a door on the fascinating and important relationship between language and the law in its many aspects." Lawrence M. Solan, Brooklyn Law School "John Gibbons' book Forensic Linguistics provides a lucid overview of the general concepts and issues relating to linguistic communication in the justice system." New Zealand Studies in Applied Linguistics "This is part of Blackwell's excellent Language in Society series, and Gibbon's well-written and broadly engaging textbook continues that tradition... it is already receiving praise from students, students who judge books not only on scholarly content but accessibility... Forensic Linguistics will become the primary text in the growing interdisciplinary field of legal language and discourse." Discourse and Society
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About John Gibbons

John Gibbons is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Linguistics, University of Sydney. He is author of Code Mixing and Code Choice (1987) editor of Language and the Law (1994), and co-editor of Learning Keeping and Using Language (1991). He is president of the International Association of Forensic Linguists, and is on the board of the International Journal of Applied Linguistics, Forensic Linguistics, and Discurso y Sociedad.
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Rating details

13 ratings
4.3 out of 5 stars
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2 8% (1)
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