This course provides an introduction to the practical, ethical, and legal principles of forensic speech analysis in criminal investigations. Through auditory and instrumental analysis, we will investigate the phonetic parameters which can be useful in the process of identifying an individual speaker. We will discuss and replicate phonetic analysis which has been performed in criminal cases. We will also explore the performance of lay listeners in speaker identification, discussing the problems involved in eliciting and using 'earwitness' evidence in court.
Students will become proficient at and develop competence in the following skills:
This module will be capped at 35.
Students must have successfully completed:
Three to four hours per week consisting of one lecture and one laboratory practical (max 2hrs per session).
In addition to the lecture and lab, private study should include completion of all practical exercises covered in laboratory sessions, and reading of all key texts. Students are also expected to seek individual advice on their work for assessment during the tutors' surgery hours.
A pack of reading materials will be made available.
All modules provide an opportunity to work on general oral/written communication skills (in class and in assessments) and general self management (organising your studies), alongside the specific skills in language or linguistics that the module teaches.
In addition, this module will allow you to particularly develop skills in the application of subject-specific knowledge in the workplace. Here you will learn how sociophonetic analysis is presented in a legal context. You will learn to present an analysis so that it meets the protocols of professional bodies, and is comprehensible to non-linguists as well as fellow linguists. The skill of framing the presentation to address the needs of different audience of will transfer to almost all professional situations. You will also learn to appreciate issues concerning the handling of sensitive and confidential materials.
Follow this link to hear how past students use transferable skills from their degree in their current jobs.
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