The role of linguists and native speakers in language analysis for the determination of speaker origin
Keywords:language analysis, native speaker, forensic linguist, asylum seekers, speaker origin
AbstractIn this paper, it is argued that proper conduction of Language Analysis for the Determination of the Origin of asylum seekers (LADO) requires not only linguistic expertise, but also the involvement of somebody with native competence in the language. Furthermore, awareness of the forensic aspects of LADO is crucial. Possible ways of combining native speaker competence and linguistic expertise are discussed. Eight cases are presented in which language analyses have been done by a trained native speaker under supervision of a linguist, and by a specialized linguist. These eight cases are of special interest because the correct outcome is now known. This paper shows that a person’s capability to make reliable judgments on the origin of a speaker cannot be inferred directly from his qualifications in linguistics, his language background or his professed confidence. This entails that testing of this capability is the only way to ensure good results.
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