BAAL / Cambridge University Press Applied Linguistics Seminar Programme 2017-2018

Forensic Intersections: Interdisciplinary and Multimethod Studies in Language and Law


Date: 20 April 2018, 9:30-17:00

Venue: The Crime and Security Research Institute, Cardiff University

Description: Forensic linguistics is a field that is rapidly expanding and diversifying. In tandem to the disciplinary expansion of forensic linguistics, a number of other scholarly traditions from both within and without language studies have recently found scholarly salience in legal language. We believe that the study of the language of the law is greatly strengthened through intersections, where scholars work together across disciplines, mixing methods, and ensuring robust analysis by triangulating data sources. This seminar will highlight the array of work now being undertaken at the legal-linguistics interface, with new approaches and methods being applied to powerful, socially fundamental texts. Three keynote speakers have been confirmed:

  • Stuart Macdonald (Swansea University): Purposive and performative persuasion: the linguistic basis for criminalising the encouragement of terrorism
  • Prof Jemina Napier (Heriot-Watt University): The merits of triangulation: Investigating legal interpreting with deaf sign language users
  • Dr David Wright (Nottingham Trent University): “Two guys asked me ‘how old are you babe?’”: Linguistic, psychological and legal perspectives on the street harassment of children

Call for papers: We now welcome abstracts for three additional papers during which research and/or tools may be presented. These must relate to the seminar’s focus on interdisciplinary and multimethod studies in language and law. It is our hope that speakers will expand their contributions for a special issue co-edited by the hosts in the future. If you are interested, we invite you to submit a 200-word (approx.) abstract to with the subject line “Forensic Intersections abstract” by 19 February 2018. Notifications will be made by the end of February. Reimbursement for travel of up to £80 will be available for speakers. Priority will be given to a student member of BAAL for one presentation slot; if this is your status, please indicate this in the covering email.

Seminar Co-ordinators: Amanda Potts [contact:], Michelle Aldridge-Waddon, Chris Heffer, Frances Rock; Cardiff University