International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law <p><em>The International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law</em> is a peer-reviewed journal that publishes articles on any aspect of forensic language, speech and audio analysis. <a href="">Read more about the journal.</a></p> <p> </p> <p><a href=""><strong>Metrics</strong></a><br />Journal Impact Factor: 0.368 (Clarivate Analytics, 2020 data)<br />Eigenfactor Score: 0.000070 (Clarivate Analytics, 2020 data)</p> <p>H-Index 2020: 0.26</p> <p>SCOPUS:<br /><span style="font-size: 0.875rem;">CiteScore 2020: </span><span class="value fontMedLarge lineHeight2 blockDisplay" style="font-size: 0.875rem;">0.8<br /></span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem;">SJR 2020: </span><span class="value fontMedLarge lineHeight2 blockDisplay" style="font-size: 0.875rem;">0.114<br /></span><span style="font-size: 0.875rem;">SNIP 2020: </span><span class="value fontMedLarge lineHeight2 blockDisplay" style="font-size: 0.875rem;">0.176</span></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> ‘What you’ve got is a right to silence’ <p>In the Northern Territory of Australia (NT), it has long been recognised that the right to silence ‘caution’ is difficult to communicate, particularly with some Aboriginal suspects. This article reviews paraphrases used by NT police to explain the right, asking how they could be understood by Aboriginal people and offering initial conclusions about the meaning of paraphrases involving choice, rights and force. Meanwhile, the consequences of staying silent are consistently omitted from police paraphrases, highlighting that suspects must recover important meaning from context. This article argues that a significant source of contextual knowledge about the caution is discourses about rights, which are a complex and culture-specific way of thinking and talking. There is every risk that suspects without required contextual knowledge fail to obtain anything useful from many versions of the caution, a situation which likely entrenches disadvantage in the justice system. To communicate the caution across a large cultural gap requires specifying more meaning, but only policy-makers can decide what information the caution is supposed to communicate and what effect it is supposed to have. Evaluation of potential cautions should ask whether they are comprehensible, informative and credible and ultimately what effect they have for relevant audiences.</p> Alex Bowen Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 1–29 1–29 10.1558/ijsll.18694 Style variability in disfluency analysis for forensic speaker comparison <p>Disfluencies are a natural part of speech, often going unnoticed by both speaker and listener. Recent research on disfluency profiles (McDougall and Duckworth 2017, 2018) shows that they contain speaker-specific information which could be analysed and compared in forensic speaker comparison (FSC) casework. Since samples in FSC tend to be mismatched for speaking situation and style, the present study investigates the consistency of speakers’ disfluency production across three forensically relevant tasks: a mock police interview, a paired conversation and a voicemail message. Disfluency production was found to differ significantly across tasks; in some cases, extreme within-speaker variation was observed. The results demonstrate that a speaker’s disfluency behaviour is unlikely to remain consistent across different situations. However, it was found that some individuals who demonstrated unusual production of a particular type of disfluency showed relatively consistent production of that type across all three tasks. Consequently, we recommend that disfluency analysis is not used in FSC where there are marked differences in speaking style or situation, unless distinctive disfluency production is observed in a sample.</p> Lauren Harrington Richard Rhodes Vincent Hughes Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 31–58 31–58 10.1558/ijsll.20214 Interpreting as creating a potential for understanding <p>According to a widespread norm among legal representatives, legal interpreters should translate verbatim, or at least as close to the source utterance as possible. Yet, sociolinguists have shown repeatedly that the absence of verbatim translation is not inherently problematic. Differences between source utterances and their translations may in fact facilitate understanding. On the basis of a corpus of audio-recordings from a court in Denmark, we analyse differences between a request presented by legal representatives and then the interpreters’ versions. We focus on a routinised and procedural request, usually presented by the prosecutor and addressed to the judge, and very often conveyed in a highly implicit manner. We demonstrate that the interpreters tend to elaborate and add particular types of information in their translation. We argue that the additions facilitate understanding for the accused, as many inferences, based on institutional insight, are needed in order to understand what the prosecutor means. We also point to the paradox that, although interpreters are tasked with creating understanding, it is almost impossible to assess whether they succeed and what insight the accused obtains. This is due to the institutional organisation of the type of court hearing analysed.</p> Martha Sif Karrebæk Solvej H. Sørensen Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 59–97 59–97 10.1558/ijsll.19649 Predicting veracity in online hotel reviews using types of reported speech, speaker identity and quotation marks <p>Many studies of deception detection have supported using direct reported speech as a linguistic indicator of veracity (Vrij 2015). However, indirect reported speech and narrative reports of speech (Leech and Short 1981[2007]; Chafe 1994) have not received such attention in veracity assessment research. The current study investigates whether these types of reported speech (along with speaker identities and the use/non-use of quotation marks) act as indicators of veracity in a corpus of truthful and deceptive negative online hotel reviews developed by Ott, Choi, Cardie and Hancock (2011). Logistic regression modelling found that type of reported speech and speaker identity were significant, with deceptive reviews more often using indirect reported speech and truthful reviews featuring speaker identities other than the reviewer or hotel staff. This article contributes to our understanding of deception detection by considering theoretically meaningful classes of indicators (Burgoon 2018) and connecting previous approaches from multiple fields and perspectives.</p> Mark Winston Visonà Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 99–123 99–123 10.1558/ijsll.20600 A forensic phonetic investigation of regional variation and accommodation in West Yorkshire <p>This thesis presents an examination of regional variation and speech accommodation in two socially salient features of West Yorkshire English. The first aim of this research is to consider the extent to which local level variation exists across the West Yorkshire boroughs of Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield. The second aim is to evaluate the effects of speech accommodation, the process whereby speakers adapt their speech production according to whom to they are talking (Giles, 1973; Giles &amp; Powesland, 1975; Trudgill, 1981), in forensically-relevant contexts. The findings from these examinations inform how generalisable population data is for West Yorkshire across the three boroughs and also demonstrate to what extent accommodation could impact forensic speaker comparison (FSC) casework.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The specific features examined in this thesis are the West Yorkshire face vowel and word-medial, intervocalic /t/. The motivations for examining these variables are twofold. Firstly, previous investigations of West Yorkshire English have suggested that these variables may be realised in different ways across the region and secondly, both variables appear to be socially salient in the speech community under investigation. As speech accommodation has been found to occur more often and to a stronger degree with respect to features that are socially salient (Cao, 2018; Smith &amp; Holmes-Elliott, 2015; Trudgill, 1986), it was expected that the participants in this investigation would accommodate in respect of these speech parameters. However, the main focus of this investigation is to examine the magnitude and direction of any accommodation behaviour, and to evaluate the potential consequences this may have for FSC outcomes.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>This study is one of the first to make use of the newly published West Yorkshire Regional English Database (WYRED; Gold, Ross, &amp; Earnshaw, 2018). The study analyses the speech of 30 males from West Yorkshire recorded completing three semi-spontaneous speaking tasks that utilise different interlocutors. Participants are equally split across the boroughs of Bradford, Kirklees and Wakefield and form a homogenous population in terms of age, gender and language background, enabling a systematic evaluation of regional variation. For the analysis of face, measurements are taken of the first three formants at 25%, 50% and 75% across the total vowel duration. Using these measurements, a series of statistical analyses are conducted in order to establish levels of variability across boroughs and across tasks. Additionally, realisations of intervocalic /t/ are analysed auditorily and assessments of variability between boroughs are carried out as well as an examination of changes in T-glottaling rates across tasks. For both speech parameters, accommodation is evaluated using an acoustic-phonetic approach whereby the participants’ realisations are considered in relation to those of their respective interlocutors.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p>The findings of the investigations presented in this thesis reveal that face productions vary at the local borough level, specifically in terms of midpoint F2 values, whereas /t/ productions are not regionally stratified across West Yorkshire. Based on these results, recommendations are outlined for delimiting the relevant population for FSC casework involving West Yorkshire speakers. With regards to speech accommodation in face and /t/, results show that accommodation behaviour is highly variable across participants, both in terms of the direction and amount of accommodation present. All participants were considered to accommodate in at least one speech parameter, and a small number of participants displayed very high levels of within-speaker variability across tasks, highlighting the level of potential impact that speech accommodation can have on socially salient speech parameters. The consequences of these findings are addressed from both a FSC casework perspective and also in terms of sociolinguistic research practices more generally.</p> Katherine Elizabeth Earnshaw Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 129–132 129–132 10.1558/ijsll.20340 A study on the automatic representation mechanism of legal discourse information <p>Awarding Institution: <br>Center for Linguistics and Applied<br>Linguistics, Guangdong University of<br>Foreign Studies, China<br><br>Date of Award: 27 December 2019</p> Hong Wang Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 133–138 133–138 10.1558/ijsll.20601 A study of psycho-correction discourse in community correction under restorative justice from the perspective of individuation <p>Psycho-correction in community correction in China includes activities helping the offender return to society, such as psycho-counseling, legal counseling, criminal psychological correction and personality disorder treatment. The present research studies the psycho-correction discourse in community correction, which is used to help the offender eliminate criminal mentality and other psychological problems, build legal awareness, improve social adaptability and reintegrate into society. Psycho-correction in community correction is still developing in China, and it is faced with many problems in practice. Psychological correction is not only a research topic of psychology, but also is closely related to law, pedagogy, sociology, linguistics and other disciplines. The present study explores the psycho-correction discourse in community correction by integrating linguistic theory and the theories of educational sociology and law.</p> <p>The present study investigates its research object from the perspective of Individuation Theory (Martin, 2008; 2010) under restorative justice (Zehr, 1990; Martin and Zappavigna, 2016) to find out the patterns of language used by the psycho-correctors in practicing psycho-correction, the social semiotic resources utilized by the offenders to exhibit their changes and reintegration and the practice of restorative justice in psycho-correction discourse. To achieve this objective, three research questions are raised: What are the generic features of psycho-correction discourse in community correction? How is the offender discursively corrected by allocation and affiliation with the unfolding of the genres in psycho-correction discourse? From the perspective of restorative justice, why dose the discursive practice need to be conducted in psycho-correction discourse?</p> <p>Methodologically, adopting the method of ethnographic fieldwork and SFL approach to discourse analysis and taking the corpus software UAM Corpus Tool 3.3k as the analytical tool, this study analyzes twelve psycho-corrections (including six psycho-counseling sessions and six legal counseling sessions). Based on Individuation Theory and combined with Sydney School approach to genre (Martin and Rose, 2008), Legitimation Code Theory (Maton, 2014; 2019) and Iconography (Tann, 2013), this study sets up an analytical framework, which demonstrates the analysis of psycho-correction discourse in community correction from the allocation and affiliation of Individuation Theory and the practice of restorative justice in psycho-correction discourse.</p> <p>Data analysis shows that psycho-correction in community correction consists of two macro-genres: psycho-counseling and legal counseling. The former is composed of three elemental genres: problem diagnosis, problem decomposition and problem elimination, and the latter also contains three: knowing crime, pleading guilty and showing repentance. Both of the two macro-genres have distinctive linguistic realizations.</p> <p>The Individuation analysis of psycho-correction discourse is conducted with the unfolding of the genres. With UAM CorpusTool 3.3k, the present study analyzes the characteristics, categories and distribution differences of attitude resources used by the offender in psycho-counseling and legal counseling. It is found that Specialization dimension in Legitimation Code Theory offers a means of identifying the offender’s personae. With the unfolding of macro-genres, the offender’s persona changes from a self-abandoned offender, an alienated offender, a frustrated offender to a capable offender in psycho-counseling, and from a culpable offender, a stubborn offender, a repentant offender to a redeemed offender in legal counseling. Combined with Semantics dimension in Legitimation Code Theory, the fluctuation of semantic waves in the legal counselor’s utterance scaffolds the offender’s cumulative knowledge-building by channeling legal knowledge into his or her repertoire, expanding the offender’s repertoire and helping the offender obtain a correct and complete understanding of the conviction and sentencing.</p> <p>While the offender’s repertoire expands and persona changes with the advancement of the genres, the affiliation also strengthens in psycho-correction discourse. It is found that the psycho-corrector uses the bondicons stored in the offender’s repertoire as Oracle to evoke the offender to share the values and beliefs (Doxa) around which the community (Gemeinshaft) rally. Then, the offender aligns with the community and becomes a member of it, facilitating his or her reintegration. Iconography explains how the psycho-corrector scaffolds the offender to share values and to foster alliances with members of a particular social group and then to affiliate to that social group.</p> <p>The discursive practice in psycho-correction discourse is conducted under restorative justice. Restorative justice emphasizes tearing off the criminal label, the prevention of recidivism and the offender’s full reintegration into society. It is found that the offender’s persona change along with the expansion of his or her repertoire is the process of de-labeling. The reduction of recidivism is one of the goals of restorative justice. The unpacking and repacking of semantic waves in the legal counselor’s utterance channels legal knowledge into the offender’s repertoire, helping to prevent the re-offending. Semantic waves prompt the offender’s mastery of legal language, which is a kind of powerful knowledge indispensable for the offender’s participation in a higher level of social life. The discursive practice of iconisation in psycho-correction discourse that realigns the offender with the community by sharing communal values is conducted under the restorative tenets of reintegrative shaming, relation restoration and empowerment.</p> <p>In the present study, the complementarity of Individuation Theory with other theories enhances the explanatory power of Individuation Theory, explaining how the psycho-corrector corrects the offender’s problematic psychology and behaviors with discursive strategies, and how the offender uses repertoire resources to achieve change and reintegration. This study realizes appliability stressed by SFL through explaining linguistic phenomena and problems in the field of penalty execution and ameliorating the psycho-corrector’s counseling language. The findings of this study will guide the psycho-corrector’s discursive counseling strategies to better serve community correction. It is also hoped that this study may shed light on more applications of restorative justice in judicial practices in China.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> Jie Zheng Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 139–143 139–143 10.1558/ijsll.19076 Questioning and answering strategies in Malaysian criminal proceedings <p>Courtroom discourse is widely studied (Cotterill, 2003; Eades, 2008; Heffer, 2005; Matoesian, 1993; Shuy, 2006) in the forensic linguistics and law and language fields. This thesis extends existing research on courtroom questioning in a new setting, that is, Malaysia’s adversarial criminal courts. The issue of how questioning in direct and cross-examination exercises neocolonial power and control over witnesses is raised in this thesis. The linguistic impact of colonialism (Eades, 2008; Powell, 2008) is therefore an important dimension of Malaysian courtroom talk. While Malaysia has a hybrid trial system, which is based on the Anglo-American system due to British colonialism, in 1995 it moved to a non-jury system with judges giving verdicts, providing an opportunity to examine continuing effects of a post-colonial context for lawyers’ discourse. The investigation focuses on the forms and discourse-pragmatic functions of questioning and responses in the Malaysian criminal courtroom and barristers’ rhetorical strategies when constructing narratives of events in front of judge(s). This thesis seeks to answer the following research questions:</p> <p> </p> <ol> <li>What are the discursive practices used by barristers and witnesses in Malaysian criminal trials? and</li> <li>What is the relationship between question types and responses?</li> </ol> <p> </p> <p>A corpus-based forensic discourse analysis approach is used to investigate a pilot corpus (the Shipman trial) and then to investigate 16 Malaysian criminal cases (i.e., MAYCRIM). MAYCRIM is a specialised corpus with a size of 326,785 words and consists of a range of criminal offences such as murder, drug trafficking, human trafficking and others which were collected from the Sessions and High Courts of Malaysia. MAYCRIM is unique because it features Bahasa Malaysia, Malaysian English and mixed code. </p> <p> </p> <p>The corpus-based analysis reveals interesting patterns of lawyer questioning and witness resistance. Probing questions, that is <em>wh-questions</em> and indirect <em>can you</em> questions paired with material and verbal ‘process types’ (Halliday, 1985; Halliday &amp; Matthiessen, 2004) maximise witnesses’ productivity, while challenge questions, such as SAY-questions and invariant tag questions, coerce through personalisation and quoting strategies that face-threaten witnesses in cross-examination. Firstly, probing questions that are used by barristers to maximise witnesses’ productivity produced two important patterns: (1) <em>wh-</em>prompt <em>+ you + material/mental/verbal processes </em>(e.g., <em>What was your purpose of entering Malaysia</em>?) and (2) <em>modal can + you + material/verbal processes </em>(e.g. <em>Can you still identify the report that you have lodged?</em>)<em>. </em>The <em>wh-</em>prompt makes the prosecution narrative and the witness more credible because it can be used to probe and control witnesses to recall and elaborate specific details of events. Moving to the second type of probing question, which is the <em>can you </em>indirect question, lawyers are able to present witnesses as either helpfully productive in direct or lacking knowledge and credibility in cross-examination, by pairing the <em>can you </em>part with verbal processes such as <em>explain, tell, confirm, inform, elaborate. </em>On the other hand, the SAY-question is another combative tool used by barristers in cross-examination to indicate that witnesses’ existing answers are problematic. The most common patterns of SAY-questions found in this analysis are <em>are you saying </em>and <em>are you telling. </em>The SAY-question which is embedded in <em>yes/no </em>and declarative questions is not only used to limit a witness’s response but as a linguistic device to imply witnesses’ answers are problematic.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>The finding that invariant tag questions are dominant might suggest that Malaysian barristers are less able to perform power and control with witnesses in cross-examination. However, despite lacking polarity, I argue that invariant tag questions with <em>do you agree, correct/betul, agree/setuju,</em> particle <em>tak/not</em>, and <em>do you know</em> have the same potential to perform control and power as canonical tag questions. The declarative + <em>agree/setuju </em>with the highest affirmatory function was mostly used by lawyers to get affirmative answers from witnesses. The linguistic marker to achieve this function is via a factive sentence with tag <em>agree/setuju </em>that can be used as a request for agreement from the hearers. Secondly, declarative + <em>correct/betul </em>is used by defence lawyers to refute prosecution evidence by exposing inconsistencies and inaccuracies in witnesses’ answers. Lawyers perform the illocutionary force of checking, through a combination of reported speech or writing with the <em>correct/betul </em>tag, that enacts prior evidence testified or reported by witnesses. It is also found that both the invariant tags <em>agree/setuju </em>and <em>correct/betul </em>are very conducive because they make inferences based on existing evidence. Thirdly, we know that a reversed polarity tag question has a strong force for agreement and is highly coercive; however in the MAYCRIM corpus, the declarative + <em>do you agree </em>is also highly coercive. This is because it allows lawyers to impose their version of facts or presuppositions to coerce hearers to accept their assertion.</p> <p> </p> <p>In response, witnesses demonstrate resistance via disagreement, correction, evasion and challenge, demonstrating that witnesses are able to overcome the power asymmetry that is particularly pronounced in cross-examination, though not without costs. Resistant answers can become a defensive strategy to mitigate lawyers’ dominant power, or can be used as a diversion strategy to disrupt lawyers’ sequences of questions. Interestingly, they can even be used to open up linguistic negotiation between lawyers and witnesses in interaction. A continuum of witnesses’ resistance is suggested for legal practitioners to understand how their questions affect witnesses and at the same time help to prepare their witnesses for courtroom examination. This continuum of witnesses’ resistance is developed from quantitative distributions and qualitative analysis of the data. The continuum suggests that when a least controlling question such as a <em>wh</em>-question is used, the probability of witnesses resisting is higher compared to controlling and coercive questions such as <em>yes/no</em>, declarative and invariant tag questions. The continuum provides a functional framework for lawyers to assess witnesses’ answers and can be a point of reference for lawyers to instruct witnesses and/or defendants on what they might encounter when they are called to testify in the courtroom.</p> <p> </p> <p> </p> <p>This study makes three original contributions to theory, methodology and practice: 1) to enhance the field of courtroom questioning and pragmatics 2) to propose a range of corpus search terms that are useful for investigating courtroom questioning and 3) with implications for legal practitioners in general, and for Malaysian legal counsels in particular, and where the findings can be a point of reference for legal counsels and legal educators. To conclude, the present study has moved beyond the mere description of linguistic variation in the Malaysian legal system to the range of linguistic phenomena that can have social consequences within the legal system. Its key contribution is not just for academic purposes but will hopefully also have significant implications for lawyer/witness interaction and legal training.</p> Nurshafawati Ahmad Sani Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 145–148 145–148 10.1558/ijsll.20248 Power and resistance in interrogations of suspects in the Egyptian judicial process Neveen Al Saeed Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 149–153 149–153 10.1558/ijsll.20435 Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Sexual Crime Tim Grant and Nicci MacLeod (2020) <p>Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Sexual Crime Tim Grant and Nicci MacLeod (2020) Cambridge University Press. 195 pp</p> Emily Chiang Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 155–160 155–160 10.1558/ijsll.20645 Resolution of Conflict of Interest in Chinese Civil Court Hearings: A Perspective of Discourse Information Theory Yunfeng Ge (2018) <p>Resolution of Conflict of Interest in Chinese Civil Court Hearings: A Perspective of Discourse Information Theory Yunfeng Ge (2018) Peter Lang. 306 pp</p> Hong Wang Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 161–165 161–165 10.1558/ijsll.20646 Remembering Bethany K. Dumas, JD, PhD <p>.</p> Philip Gaines Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 125–126 125–126 10.1558/ijsll.20724 In remembrance of Dr John Gabriel Christopher Luke Olsson June Luchjenbroers Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 127–128 127–128 10.1558/ijsll.20688 Book Announcements Richard Powell Copyright (c) 2021 Equinox Publishing Ltd. 2021-10-15 2021-10-15 28 1 167–169 167–169 10.1558/ijsll.20644