Kernot – The Application of Stylometric Analysis to Fake News: The statistical analysis of language variations for identity

The Psycholinguistics Research Group and FORGE are delighted to announce a joint talk by our upcoming external speaker: David Kernot (Australian Department of Defence, Science and Technology). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
The Application of Stylometric Analysis to Fake News: The statistical analysis of language variations for identity

ABSTRACT
The known and contested works of Shakespeare along with other Elizabethan playwrights have a rich tapestry of research around contested authorship. Using a series of algorithms based on aspects of the human referential process, sensory word use, and internal gender, we highlight several new claims about Shakespeare’s work. Drawing on embodied cognition, the research is then placed within today’s security landscape. By examining adversarial data, extreme, lone actor, and troll messaging, we suggest that early signs of radicalisation might exist to cue bigger systems.

TIME & PLACE
1230-1330, Tue 17th Mar, Fylde D18

All are welcome to attend.

Misleading silence under the Australian Consumer Law: Perspectives from linguistics

FORGE is delighted to announce a talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Luke Harding (LAEL). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
Misleading silence under the Australian Consumer Law: Perspectives from linguistics

ABSTRACT
This talk considers the phenomenon of “misleading silence” as it is currently applied in a particular area of private law in the Australian legal system: section 18 (s 18) of the Australian Consumer Law (ACL). Misleading silence is of theoretical and practical interest in the case of s 18 as, according to that provision, “a person must not, in trade or commerce, engage in conduct that is misleading or deceptive or is likely to mislead or deceive”. Yet the treatment of misleading silence is under-examined in academic scholarship around s 18, particularly with respect to linguistic perspectives on silence and their implications for understanding the operation of s 18. In this talk, I will first illustrate how misleading silence has been interpreted in cases decided under s 18. Second, I will discuss two distinctions that have figured as organising ideas in interpreting misleading silence under s 18, providing a critique from a linguistic perspective on silence. Finally, I will suggest some ways in which a consideration of misleading silence in s 18 cases opens up interesting lines of enquiry for research at the intersection of linguistics and the law.

TIME & PLACE
1100-1200, Thu 27th Feb, County South D72

All are welcome to attend.

Boyd – Predatory Parlance: Understanding the Social Psychology of Online Sexual Predators

FORGE is delighted to announce a talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Ryan Boyd (Psychology). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
Predatory Parlance: Understanding the Social Psychology of Online Sexual Predators

ABSTRACT
Internet sex stings have become popular throughout the US as a way to catch potential child predators before they have the  opportunity to victimize actual children. Customarily, online conversations between undercover agents and accused offenders are submitted as evidence in the prosecution of these cases. These chats may be used by prosecutors to demonstrate several aspects of the accused’s psychological profile, such as grooming strategies, the extent to which offenders engaged in rapport building or sexual conversations, and the degree to which offenders controlled/dominated the conversations with their online victims. Using psychologically-grounded language analysis methods across two studies, we analyze transcripts in order to gain a glimpse into the motives, intentions, and other psychological processes of the accused as well as the conduct of undercover agents.

TIME & PLACE
1100-1200, Thu 12th Mar, County South D72

All are welcome to attend.

Kot – Language, Crime, and Death [CANCELLED]

Please note that, due to unavoidable circumstances, this talk has been cancelled. With luck, we hope to reschedule in the near future.

The FORGE and the LAEL Society are delighted to announce our first joint external guest speaker of 2019: Danuta Kot. Danuta is a crime novelist who has written books featuring forensic linguistics. Details of her talk are below:

TITLE
Language, Crime, and Death

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

Our language tells more about us than we realise – every time we speak or write, we give away things we don’t intend. This is the field of the forensic linguist, searching for the truth that is hiding behind the words. This talk looks at aspects of forensic linguistics: the man who was hanged because the word ‘the’ appeared in his statement – or did it? It also looks at the ways a novelist can weave stories around the secrets hidden in language.

BIO
Danuta Kot, crime writerDanuta Kot (who also writes as Danuta Reah) published her first novel, Only Darkness, in 1999. She has subsequently written eight novels, the latest being Life Ruins. She has also published prize winning short stories. Crime – or dissent – runs in the family. Her father was declared an enemy of the state by Stalin, and one of her ancestors was hung, drawn and quartered in 1646 for his religious beliefs.

You can find out more about Danuta’s work and life at her websites (here and here). Danuta is also on Twitter and Facebook. [cancelled]

TIME & PLACE
W07, 1300-1500, Wed 20th Nov, Management School Lecture Theatre 5 [cancelled]

Dance and Hardaker – Engagement and impact in media and policy: life above and beyond the thesis

In collaboration with the Linguistics & English Language Department in general, FORGE is delighted to announce our very first talk of the year by our upcoming internal speakers: William Dance and Claire Hardaker (LAEL). Details of the talk are below:

TITLE
Engagement and impact in media and policy: life above and beyond the thesis

ABSTRACT
Undertaking a thesis is, for many people, one of the greatest challenges of their lives, but there can be a tendency to focus simply on getting to, and passing the viva, and then life after that moment can come as an entirely unplanned surprise. In this talk, Claire briefly discusses how, in her role as a supervisor, she guides her students through the maze of impact and engagement – whether with the media, policy makers, practitioners, or beyond – as a way of paving the road for life, and a career, after the thesis. William then gives concrete examples of how his path through engagement and impact is currently playing out for him day to day as a PhD student, including reflections on creating and building his public profile, undertaking a Cabinet Office internship, working with journalists both behind the scenes and in front, and more besides.

Whilst this talk will mainly be about engagement during PhD studies, it may also be useful to MA students and ECRs.

The talk will be approximately 30-40 minutes in total, with around 10-20 minutes at the end for Q&A.

TIME & PLACE
1300-1400, Fri 18th Oct, Management School LT11

All are welcome to attend.

Dearden – Alternative fakes

FORGE is delighted to announce a talk by our upcoming internal speaker: Ed Dearden (Computing & Communications). Details of his talk are below:

TITLE
Alternative fakes

ABSTRACT
Lies have always been told to try and influence the opinions of others. But the ease of information-propagation allowed by the web and social media has made it an increasing problem. False information, both intentional (“disinformation”) and unintentional (“misinformation”), propagates like wild fire in this environment. Much research is (rightly!) concerned with characterising disinformation in this social media and online news landscape. Though this focus is understandable, there is much to learn by looking at other forms of false information, as the concept of people spreading lies is, sadly, not a new phenomenon. This talk will discuss some of the challenges of looking at different forms of false information and how the concepts of belief and deceptive intent affect the language of false information. The talk will then discuss a couple of case studies of false information: April Fools hoaxes and the Flat Earth Society forum.

TIME & PLACE
1100-1200, Wed 13th Mar, County South B89

All are welcome to attend.