Forensic linguistics for Investigative Interviewers

Activity: Talk or presentation types › Oral presentation


This paper will illustrate how recent research on language and communication can be applied to investigative interviewing, in order to enhance the quality of evidence produced and assist in the strive for best practice. Linguistic research has provided significant insight into the nature of spoken interaction, especially in institutional settings and interviews in particular. This has revealed aspects of great significance to the investigative interviewing context, such as question type categorisation and power dynamics, and yet little of this wealth of knowledge and insight is currently being utilised in investigative interviewer training and practice. This session aims to redress this by setting out some simple but fundamentally important aspects of Speech Act Theory, Conversation Analysis, Accommodation Theory and Critical Discourse Analysis which can easily be applied to interviewing practice, and which can also easily be integrated into current practitioner training. These linguistic theories will be illustrated with practical examples of data from English police interviews, and supported by the presenter’s own data analysis. The ultimate aim of this paper is to provide interviewers with practical tools and skills to apply in their day-to-day work.
Period25 May 2012
Event titleInternational Investigative Interviewing Research Group Annual Conference 2012
Event typeConference
LocationToronto, CanadaShow on map
Degree of RecognitionInternational