International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law <p><em>The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law</em>&nbsp;is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles on any aspect of forensic language, speech and audio analysis.</p> Equinox Publishing Ltd. en-US International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law 1748-8885 <p>© Equinox Publishing Ltd.</p> <p>For information regarding our Open Access policy, <a title="Open access policy." href="Full%20details of our conditions related to copyright can be found by clicking here.">click here</a>.</p> International practices in forensic speaker comparisons <p>A survey relating to current practices in forensic speaker comparison testing was recently undertaken of 39 laboratories and individual practitioners across 23 countries. Questions were organised around a number of themes, including the preliminary assessment and preparation of case materials, the checking of analysts' work, frameworks used for the expression of conclusions, the use of automatic speaker recognition systems, the use of reference populations, and awareness of cognitive bias. Developmental trends in this area of forensic speech science are established by comparing responses to the present survey with those to the authors' earlier survey published in 2011.</p> Erica Gold Peter French Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 1 20 10.1558/ijsll.38028 Formulaic metadiscursive signalling devices in judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union <p>This paper investigates how paragraph initial metadiscursive lexical items serve as signalling devices in text organisation of judgments of the Court of Justice of the European Union (ECJ).&nbsp; The results of that investigation demonstrate that those metadiscursive items both shape a particular method of reasoning used by the ECJ, and have an impact on how readers process those texts.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>Based on assumptions grounded in linguistics/legal linguistics that legal language is formulaic and repetitive in nature, the paper focuses on the use of repetitive items in ECJ judgments that perform metadiscursive rather than legal functions.&nbsp; Such items play a crucial role in the presentation of reasoning in judgments by signalling when and how various types of information occur in a discourse.&nbsp; The paper builds on established work in the field of linguistics that claims that legal reasoning can be understood from the utterances used in a text (Crystal and Davy, 1969), but importantly also considers the context in which judgments of the ECJ are produced and applied.&nbsp; Demonstrating the impact of language patterns on the legal reasoning of the ECJ is an inherently interdisciplinary exercise that involves the exploration of the cognitive dimension of the process. &nbsp;Thus, this paper contextualises the findings of the linguistic analysis carried out within the unique multilingual setting of the ECJ, using Koestler’s theory of creativity and cognitive theories of text processing as the basis of analysis.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The analysis leads to the conclusion that not only do language patterns found in ECJ judgments shape the method of reasoning used by that Court, but also that those judgments are made up of ‘almost wholly automised’ sub-codes of grammar and syntax. This conclusion supports claims made in law and language studies and among EU law practitioners that ECJ judgments are created in a ‘lego-building block’ fashion.&nbsp; The linguistic research carried out here can thus be used to triangulate results of research from other fields to allow a more holistic understanding of supranational adjudication in the EU context to be developed.&nbsp; This in turn can offer new ways for understanding how a multilingual legal order functions, as well as allowing researchers to work towards limiting inconsistencies arising in such a legal order.</p> Karen McAuliffe Aleksandar Trklja Copyright (c) 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 21 55 10.1558/ijsll.36920 Functional linguistic variation in Twitter trolling <p>Trolling is a multifunctional phenomenon, which varies considerably, not only in terms of the behaviours it displays and the perceptions of those behaviours, but also with respect to the platform and the community in which it resides. From a forensic perspective, trolling also varies in terms of that which is prosecutable to that which is not. Despite trolling being a linguistic act, little is known about how trolling varies linguistically. This article examines the functional linguistic variation within a corpus of Twitter trolling as a step towards distinguishing forensically significant trolling from the rest. The analysis reveals two major dimensions of linguistic variation, namely ‘interactive versus non-interactive' and ‘challenging versus non-challenging'. This second dimension reflects previous descriptions of trolling behaviours, specifically that they can be hostile and challenging, and that they post content that is not challenging but provocative. While no distinct types of trolling Tweets are found in this corpus, the findings provide a framework for quantifying the degree of a communicative function exhibited by a trolling tweet, which arguably could inform prosecuting decisions.</p> Isobelle Clarke Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 57 84 10.1558/ijsll.34803 Acoustic characteristics of disguised speech <p>&nbsp;&nbsp;&nbsp;</p> <p>A group of 13 participants were recorded in two conditions: 1) speaking normally and 2) altering speech to conceal their identity (i.e., disguised speech). Participants were not instructed how to disguise their speech because we were interested in which changes they would choose. A group of inexperienced listeners were largely inaccurate in matching participants' disguised speech to their normal speech. The largest changes between normal and disguised speech were in speaking rate, the first formant, fundamental frequency, and intensity. When listeners made correct matches, the pairs were similar in speaking rate and fundamental frequency (F0), as shown by significant correlations. Incorrectly matched pairs were not significantly correlated, suggesting that listeners were not making good use of acoustic cues during those decisions. Overall, the third formant (F3) and speaking rate appeared to be useful acoustic indicators of identity when matching normal and disguised speech samples. Of those two variables, F3 was apparently underutilised by listeners. The implications for what spontaneous speakers do to disguise their speech and what naïve listeners attend to when identifying disguised voice are discussed.</p> Allan B. Smith Nealy Mason Molly E. Browne Brendan Sullivan Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 85 95 10.1558/ijsll.38372 The effect of speaker sampling in likelihood ratio based forensic voice comparison <p>Within the field of forensic voice comparison (FVC), there is growing pressure for experts to demonstrate the validity and reliability of the conclusions they reach in casework. One benefit of a fully data-driven approach that utilises databases of speakers to compute numerical likelihood ratios (LRs) is that it is possible to estimate validity and reliability empirically. However, little is known about the stability of LR output as a function of the specific speakers sampled for use in the training, test and reference data sets. The present study addresses this issue using two large sets of formant data: Cantonese sentence final particle /a/ and British English filled pauses UM. Experiments were replicated 100 times varying the 1) training, test and reference speakers, 2) training speakers only, 3) test speakers only, and 4) reference speakers only. The results show that varying the speakers in all three sets has the greatest effect on system stability for both the Cantonese and English variables, with the Cllr varying from 0.60 to 0.97 for /a/ and 0.32 to 1.33 for UM. However, this variability is primarily due to the effects of uncertainty in the test set. Varying only the training speakers has the least effect on system stability for /a/ (Cllr range: 0.76 to 0.88), while varying reference speakers has the smallest effect for UM (Cllr range: 0.40 to 0.54). The results indicate that in LR-based FVC it is important to assess the stability of the system as a function of the samples of speakers used (Cllr range) rather than just reporting a single Cllr value based on one configuration of speakers in each set. The study contributes to the general debate on reporting uncertainty in LR computation.</p> Bruce Xiao Wang Vincent Hughes Paul Foulkes Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 97 120 10.1558/ijsll.38046 <i>Common Law in an Uncommon Courtroom</i>, Eva N. S. Ng (2018) <div><em>Common Law in an Uncommon Courtroom</em></div> <div>Eva N. S. Ng (2018)</div> <div>John Benjamins pp 373</div> Kwai Hang Ng Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 121 125 10.1558/ijsll.39354 <i>Corpus-based Research on Variation in English Legal Discourse</i>, Teresa Fanego and Paula Rodríguez-Puente, eds (2019) <div><em>Corpus-based Research on Variation in English Legal Discourse</em></div> <div>Teresa Fanego and Paula Rodríguez-Puente, eds (2019)</div> <div>John Benjamins viii + 294 pp</div> Zhiying Xin Jiawei Wang Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 127 132 10.1558/ijsll.39355 Book announcements Richard Powell Copyright (c) 2019 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 133 135 10.1558/ijsll.39356 Erratum <p><strong>Erratum</strong></p> <p><em>Connecting Language and Disciplinary Knowledge in English for Specific Purposes: Case Studies in Law</em><br>by Alissa J. Hartig (2017)<br>Multilingual Matters xi +191 pp<br>Reviewed by Le Cheng and Jiamin Pei</p> <p><a href=""></a></p> <p>The print version of this article included an error which has been corrected in the online PDF.</p> Richard Powell Copyright (c) 2019-09-11 2019-09-11 26 1 10.1558/ijsll.38856