Wednesday, May 2, 2012

LING-L 210 Topics in Language and Society with new topic!

LING-L210 Topics in Linguistics: Word Crime: Language as Forensic Linguistics

To be tentatively scheduled for MWF 1:25-2:15 p.m., location TBA

Sometimes a smoking gun can identify a criminal; sometimes it's the way he or she talks. For instance, the Unabomber was identified when his family recognized key phrases that he repeatedly used in his writings.

In this course we will examine a variety of ways in which language and speech analysis is used in the courtroom and related arenas to identify criminals, settle company trademark disputes, and spot plagiarism.

Additional forensic applications will also be addressed, such as how the CIA could attempt to identify Osama bin Laden's voice on post-9-11 audiotapes, or how a killer was caught by his text messages. How does this look?