An illusion of understanding

how native and non-native speakers of English understand (and misunderstand) their Miranda rights


  • Aneta Pavlenko University of Oslo
  • Elizabeth Hepford
  • Scott Jarvis University of Utah



police interrogation, Miranda rights, non-native speakers, second language (L2) proficiency

Author Biographies

Aneta Pavlenko, University of Oslo

Aneta Pavlenko is Research Professor of Applied Linguistcis at the Center for Multilingualism in Society across the Lifespan at the University of Oslo. Her research examines the relationship between multilingualism, cognition, and emotions, including in forensic contexts. She has testified in court as an expert in forensic linguistics, has lectured widely in North America, Europe and Asia and has authored more than a hundred articles and ten books, the most recent of which is The bilingual mind and what it tells us about language and thought (Cambridge University Press, 2014).

Elizabeth Hepford

Elizabeth Hepford is Assistant Professor of the Practice of TESOL at Wesleyan University. Her research interests include complexity, accuracy and fluency development, Complex Dynamic Systems theory and bilingual language policies. She has published research in the area of language policy related to business practices.


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Cases cited

Colorado v. Spring, 479 U.S. 157 (1986).

Dickerson v. United States, 530 U.S. 428 (2000).

Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966).



How to Cite

Pavlenko, A., Hepford, E., & Jarvis, S. (2020). An illusion of understanding: how native and non-native speakers of English understand (and misunderstand) their Miranda rights. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 26(2), 181–207.