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Sophie Bonifaz, MSc in Forensic Speech Science 2013-14

What are your research interests / what are you working on?

I am interested in looking at transcripts of recordings used as evidence in court. There are many debates as to who is the most qualified to transcribe a difficult recording and what is the best format for both capturing information and presenting to a jury, and I find it fascinating, especially considering how vital a transcript is during a court case.

What is your favourite module and why?

My favorite modules are Articulatory and Impressionistic Phonetics and the forensic labs, as they’re both very practical, hands-on courses that both test and teach you how to identify the unique ways sounds are produced and perceived.

Why York rather than somewhere else?

York is not only an excellent school in general, but has an internationally renowned linguistics department and is the only place in the world where I could get this particular degree. For me, it was York or bust.

How has your experience at York broadened your horizons as a linguist?

Not only have I learned the way linguistics is done on this side of the pond, I’ve also been able to apply this knowledge using actual casework, giving me the chance to use the skills and theories I’ve learned in a tangible way.

What’s the level of support like from staff and the department as a whole, are they receptive to feedback?

The department, and particularly the program heads, are always responsive and try to help. I feel confident in going to them when I need help.

What has been your favourite aspect of living and studying at York so far?

I love interacting with people from so many places; my program alone has people from seven different countries in it, and we all bring something different to the table.

What do you feel is the most important thing you will take away from your experience at York?

My experience at York has given me more confidence in my skills as a linguist and helped me grow as a person.