Grant – Taking language analysis to Court – How linguistic investigative advice, language evidence, and expert opinion are used in the UK justice system

The FORGE is delighted to announce our third and final external guest speaker: Prof Tim Grant (Aston). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
Taking language analysis to Court – How linguistic investigative advice, language evidence, and expert opinion are used in the UK justice system

NOTES
This will be of especial interest to those looking to go into a career in forensic linguistics.

ABSTRACT
In this talk Tim Grant will examine the different roles through which language analysis can be used to improve the delivery of justice in the Courts. Through discussion of a series of cases in which he has been involved he will argue that forensic linguists, acting both as researchers and practitioners, need to focus on a broad variety of use cases and understand better how their analysis can be useful in the criminal and civil justice systems. He will examine the legal context in through which experts (including linguists) give evidence in Court and he will argue that forensic linguistic evidence needs to be methodological rigorous and admissible but also it must include clear and convincing explanation to provide the tryers of fact with a rationale basis for making their decisions.

BIO
Prof Tim GrantProfessor Tim Grant is the Director of the Centre for Forensic Linguistics at Aston University. Tim is on the Ethics and Professional Practice Committee of the International Association of Forensic Linguists and is a member of the Scientific Committee for the International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG). Tim has extensive experience of providing linguistic evidence in a variety of cases including successful investigations into sexual assault, stalking, murder, and terrorism. Tim is particularly interested in forensic authorship analysis focusing on short messages such as text messages and Twitter posts, and he is also interested in how linguists can advise and train police officers to conduct better interviews. Tim’s work has appeared in featured newspaper articles and on BBC radio programmes. Furthermore, after providing a profile of a writer of roughly 60 racially and sexually abusive letters, Tim appeared as part of a media appeal on the BBC Crimewatch programme. This media appeal was successful in finding the offender, who matched the profile proposed by Tim.

TIME & PLACE
1300-1400, Wed 22nd Mar, Management School Lecture Theatre 6

Chatterjee – Gender and cyberwarfare – a critical examination of key terms and images

FORGE is delighted to announce a talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Dr Bela Chatterjee (Law). Details of her talk are below:

TITLE
Gender and cyberwarfare – a critical examination of key terms and images

ABSTRACT
In this presentation Dr Chatterjee considers the language and imagery surrounding popular discourses of cyberwarfare, and linking them to questions of gender. Drawing on popular cultural reference points such as James Bond’s Skyfall and newspaper cartoons, she considers potential gender dimensions to cyberwarfare and the possible implications of the gendered constructions of cyberwarfare for International Law discourses on cyber war.

TIME & PLACE
1300-1400, Mon 27th Feb, County South B89

All are welcome to attend.

Former Det Ch Supt Carr – The practicalities of police interviews

The FORGE is delighted to announce our first external guest speaker of 2017: Former Detective Chief Superintendent Laurence Carr (Merseyside Police).

Details of his talk are below.

TITLE
The practicalities of police interviews

ABSTRACT
Please be aware that this talk will involve reference to criminal cases.

This presentation aims to examine the practical obstacles that exist in police interview situations and how police in the UK have developed a method to try to overcome those obstacles so as to maximise disclosure and dialogue. It touches upon the development of the methodology, examines what the interview actually consists of, contrasts and compares differing techniques and examines the arguments for and against. It also looks at such things as how to overcome silence, how to use silence, the power dynamic in the room, effective listening, managing the physical environment, dealing with deliberate obstruction, rapport building, and effective conversation management amongst other topics.

BIO
Laurence Carr spent 30 years in Merseyside Police achieving the rank of Detective Chief Superintendent. He led the Force Major Incident Team and was heavily involved in police interviews in numerous contexts, both as a practitioner and as a strategist. He now leads the Behavioural Assessment Unit at a leading financial services company.

TIME & PLACE
W17, 1200-1400, Thu 02nd Mar, George Fox Lecture Theatre 3
Note that the talk itself will run from 1200-1300, and Laurence will stay for a further hour in case anyone wishes to chat with him one-to-one.

All are welcome to attend.

Edwards & Wattam – Why privacy makes privacy research hard

UCREL’s CRS and FORGE are delighted to announce a joint talk by our upcoming internal speakers: Matt Edwards and Steve Wattam (Computing & Communications). Details of their talk are below:

TITLE
Why privacy makes privacy research hard

ABSTRACT
Identity resolution capability for social networking profiles is important for a range of purposes, from open-source intelligence applications to forming semantic web connections. Yet research in this area is hampered by the lack of access to ground-truth data linking the identities of profiles from different networks. Almost all data sources previously used by researchers are no longer available, and historic datasets are both of decreasing relevance to the modern social networking landscape and ethically troublesome regarding the preservation and publication of personal data. We present and evaluate a method which provides researchers in identity resolution with easy access to a realistically-challenging labelled dataset of online profiles, drawing on four of the currently largest and most influential online social networks. We validate the comparability of samples drawn through this method and discuss the implications of this mechanism for researchers and potential alternatives and extensions.

TIME & PLACE
1300-1400, Mon 06th Feb, County South B89

NOTE
Though the speakers are computer scientists, they are aiming this talk at a non-technical audience. This presentation may be of interest to audiences beyond linguistics and/or computing, including those researching big data, online privacy, internet law/criminology, psychology, sociology, digital anthropology and culture, and so forth.

All are welcome to attend.

Petyko – The motives attributed to the assumed trolls on three Hungarian left-wing political blogs

FORGE is delighted to announce a talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Marton Petyko (Linguistics & English Language). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
The motives attributed to the assumed trolls on three Hungarian left-wing political blogs

ABSTRACT
Although trolling has become a subject of increasing academic interest in the past 10-15 years, it has several aspects that have not been studied extensively yet. This talk attempts to contribute to the academic study of three under-researched aspects of trolling, namely (1) trolling in online informal political discourse, (2) trolling in non-English computer-mediated interactions and (3) the assumed motives attributed to trolls. I will discuss the results of a corpus-assisted case study that aimed to identify the motives that participants explicitly attribute to those whom they call trolls in 178 comment threads, consisting of 55,276 comments on three prominent Hungarian left-wing political blogs, B1, Örülünk, Vincent? and Varánusz. Thus, the paper is concerned with the assumed motives that participants attribute to the supposed trolls and not with the actual reasons for trolling in these online interactions. First, I will present four motives that the participants repeatedly attribute to the assumed trolls in the examined comment threads. Then, I will discuss how these assumed motives affect the way participants discursively portray the alleged trolls and depict perceived trolling in the investigated computer-mediated interactions.

TIME & PLACE
1200-1300, Mon 12th Dec, County South B89

All are welcome to attend.

Chan – Tone coarticulation and implications for forensic speaker comparison

The Lancaster University Phonetics Lab and FORGE are delighted to announce a joint talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Dr Ricky Chan (Linguistics & English Language). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
Tone coarticulation and implications for forensic speaker comparison

ABSTRACT
A major goal in forensic speaker comparison research is to identify variables in speech that are useful for characterising speakers. While research on individual phonetic parameters abound, few studies have focused on the between-speaker differences in sounds under the influence from connected speech processes, let alone with an explicit comparison with sounds produced in their citation forms. In this talk, I will report an experiment on the speaker-discriminatory powers of lexical tones under different speaking rate and tonal contexts, which are two main factors contributing to tone coarticulation. 20 native Cantonese speakers and 20 native Mandarin speakers were recruited and read speech in two speaking rates (normal vs. fast) and two tonal contexts (compatible vs. conflicting) were elicited. Results based on discriminant analysis show that coarticulated tones tend to perform worse in speaker identification than tones in their citation forms. Implications for forensic speaker comparison will be discussed.

TIME & PLACE
1200-1300, Mon 21st Nov, County South C89

All are welcome to attend.

DisTex talk: Fuoli – Analyzing corporate trust-repair discourse using corpus and experimental techniques

FORGErs may be interested in the inaugural meeting of the DisTex research group. Their first speaker will be Matteo Fuoli (Lund University). Details of his paper are below:

Title
Analyzing corporate trust-repair discourse using corpus and experimental techniques

Abstract
Trust is a valuable relational asset for companies, and an important precondition for their legitimacy. But trust is also a fragile commodity; it takes a long time to build, and just moments to destroy. In this talk, I will present the results of two studies that investigate how companies use discourse strategically in order to restore public trust in them after episodes of wrongdoing. In the first study, I combine Appraisal theory (Martin and White, 2005) and manual corpus annotation techniques to examine the trust-repair discourse strategies deployed by BP’s CEO in his letters to shareholders after the Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010. In the second study, I use experimental methods to test the perlocutionary effects of two basic strategies that are commonly used by corporations in situations where trust is at stake: apology and denial. These two studies offer new insights into the discursive dynamics of trust, and demonstrate the usefulness of mixing corpus and experimental methods for the analysis of discourse.

Time & place
1600, Mon 24th Oct, County South B89

All are welcome to attend.