The role of linguists and native speakers in language analysis for the determination of speaker origin: A response to Tina Cambier-Langeveld

Authors

  • Helen Fraser University of New England

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v18i1.121

Keywords:

LADO, language analysis, accent identification, asylum seekers

Abstract

Cambier-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.

Author Biography

Helen Fraser, University of New England

Helen Fraser studied linguistics and phonetics at Macquarie University, Sydney, and the University of Edinburgh, Scotland, then taught at several universities in the UK and Ireland before taking a position at the University of New England, Australia, which she held from 1990 to 2008. Her research focuses on cognitive aspects of phonetics and phonology, and covers both theoretical and applied topics, especially second language pronunciation and forensic phonetics. She is now an independent researcher, currently working part time at UNE's Teaching and Learning Centre on a project titled 'Speaking and Listening in the Multicultural University'.

Published

2011-09-13

How to Cite

Fraser, H. (2011). The role of linguists and native speakers in language analysis for the determination of speaker origin: A response to Tina Cambier-Langeveld. International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law, 18(1), 121–130. https://doi.org/10.1558/ijsll.v18i1.121

Issue

Section

Commentaries/Responses