Past Seminars Seminários Já Decorridos 2012

The Style of the Crime: text analysis in forensic stylistics

By: Rita Marquilhas and Adriana Cardoso
From: Centro de Linguística da Universidade de Lisboa
At: Instituto de Investigação Interdisciplinar, B1-01
[2012-05-15] 11:30

Text authorship identification is one of a number of techniques developed by forensic linguistics, a discipline that uses linguistic analysis to provide evidence that can be used in the dispensation of justice. The basic principle is the same as that used in stylistics generally to identify the author of written texts, namely the assumption that individuals will employ a similar style across different samples of written language.

The aim of our talk is to show that, although forensic linguistics is normally subject to confidentiality (in that it is forbidden to divulge materials involved in legal cases), there is no reason why the methodology should not be discussed using “textual” crimes that are in the public domain. Indeed, this type of crime is likely to become more common in the future, given the increasing accessibility of text composition and distribution technologies.