This course focuses on the role linguistics has within the rapidly growing field of forensic science. Forensic linguistics is a diverse field that not only has applications in legal and criminal investigation, but also makes important contributions to the military, government and business, and can contribute to literary, historical and cultural studies. Whether it is a dispute over who wrote Shakespeare's plays, or which suspect had threatened a murder victim, the challenge is to associate a text or utterance with a specific individual.
In this course we examine how written and spoken texts, documents and recordings, can be analysed to identify authorship, or to correct or better understand their content. We also learn about the use of computational and statistical tools in linguistic analyses, and connections to related fields such as biometrics and speech recognition. The course has no prerequisites; the necessary basic linguistic and statistical ideas and tools will be introduced and explained, making the course a very practical and topical introduction to linguistics.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:
By the end of this course, you should be able to:
- Understand the role of expert evidence relating to language in court , and review and assess the strength of evidence presented by expert witnesses
- Understand the different types of linguistic data that can be used as evidence.
- Select and apply appropriate methods for identifying authorship of texts
- Understand the potentials and limits of forensic voice identification
- Explain, and argue for the role of language and linguistics in the legal system
4 short in-class/take home activities based on the principle textbook, making 8% each
1 tutorial presentation and 1250 word write-up worth 20%
1 major project (4000 word analytical project which must include a significant component of statistical evaluation - Frequentest and/or Bayesian) worth 48%.
The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.
This course has 3 contact hours per week (lectures and tutorials) that may be held in a 3 hour block.
In addition to the required contact hours (lectures and tutorials), it is expected that students will spend an additional 6-7 hours per week on this course.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsJohn Olsson, June Luchjenbroers (2014, third edition) Forensic Linguistics. Bloomsbury. ISBN 9781472569578
Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.
If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.
- Student Contribution Band:
- Unit value:
- 6 units
If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees. Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.
Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links
ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.
Class summaries, if available, can be accessed by clicking on the View link for the relevant class number.
|Class start date
|Last day to enrol
|Class end date
|Mode Of Delivery
|19 Feb 2018
|27 Feb 2018
|31 Mar 2018
|25 May 2018