The role of linguists and native speakers in language analysis for the determination of speaker origin: A response to Tina Cambier-Langeveld
Keywords:LADO, language analysis, accent identification, asylum seekers
AbstractCambier-Langeveld (2010a) examines eight LADO case reports, attributing problems she finds in them to lack of native speaker competence on the part of the analysts, and uses the results to argue the legitimacy of a role for native speakers in LADO that is not currently allowed by the Guidelines (2004). The present article clarifies what the Guidelines say about analysts, and shows that the authors of the eight reports do not meet their requirements. It then argues that framing the important issues raised by Cambier-Langeveld in terms of a debate opposing ‘native speakers’ versus ‘linguists’ may not be the most helpful way forward, suggesting instead exploration of the question ‘Under what conditions can LADO judgements be produced which are reliable enough for the human rights and national security issues at stake?’. It ends with a call for the Guidelines to be updated in light of recent work by Cambier-Langeveld and others, then administered effectively, preferably by an independent international body.
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