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Forensic Linguistics

Written by Emily Chiang

Forensic Linguistics

Online child sexual abuse remains pervasive around the world, despite the various combative measures employed by police, legislators and educators. One of the biggest barriers to policing this kind of crime is the anonymity afforded online; not only can offenders conceal aspects of their identities when communicating with victims or other offenders, but they can also assume new ones. So when it comes to identifying offenders, what clues can we draw on? What is left when the offline features we might use to interpret a person’s identity (physical appearance, dress, accent, etc.) are absent, or obscured? Language. Language is one source (a particularly rich and flexible source) that we use to express aspects of our identities. Which is why forensic linguists can offer insights and assist in police investigations regarding issues of online identity.

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Coming up in the Next issue of Digital Forensics Magazine

Coming up in Issue 40 on sale from August 2019:


Forensic Syntactical & Linguistic Investigation

Mark Iwazko presents a case study regarding a Forensic Syntactical & Linguistic investigation: Instructed by the Moscow General Council of one of the actual big four accountants. Read More »

Forensic Readiness: A Proactive Approach to Support Forensic Digital Analysis

An increasing number of criminal actions are inflicting financial and brand damage to organizations around the globe. An impressive number of such cases do not reach the courts, mainly because of the organization’s inefficiency to produce robust digital evidences that are acceptable in the courts of law. Read More »

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Using Error-Patterns for Attribution: An Applied Linguistics Technique

Corpus Linguistics within Second Language Acquisition has developed models of error patterns made by defined groups of second language learners. This knowledge base can be leveraged by a knowledgeable analyst to attribute content to a subset of authors. Read More »

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