Linguistics that were used in the Evans case

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Last updated: September 20, 2019

Linguisticsis a very broad term to discuss and there are many branches what branch of fromthe term linguistics. Every language is complex and give abilities that enablepeople to communicate with one another. We can express, emotions, desires,hypothesis, and other things that can be expressed. Linguistics basicallystudies the above systems and all of their aspects: how it can be acquired, howwe use it in production of speech, in comprehension of reading messages, itconsequently is concerned with patterns, properties, systematics, changes, andcognitive processes that are formed in language. Here is a list of branchesthat is connected with linguistics. ·        Phonology·        Morphology·        Syntax·        Phonetics·        Semantics·        Pragmatics  As you can see the term ‘forensics’ covers awide area and we are only focusing on two terms.

We have already defined whatthe term phonetics means in part. So let’s look at what they mean if we add theword ‘forensic’ to them. Forensiclinguistics is a relatively new comer to the forensic department. it was firstused in 1969, by a Swedish man named Jan Svartvik, in a famous case which hestudied and analyzed police statements that were used in the Evans case on aman named Timothy John Evans.

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(Olsson, 2004, p.20). This event was more thanforty years ago to which he was found guilty of murdering his little daughterand wife in the year 1949. Mr. Svartvik was able to demonstrate how pieces ofthe transcript were considerably different in their styles of grammar when theywere compared with the recorded interview. It was based around this evidencethat Evan was wrongly sentenced to the death penalty in 1950. However,unfortunately it was too late, but if it was not for Mr.

Svartviks analyze 16years later he would not have been pardoned.  It has since progressed over the years and isnow an established field of study that has been adapted in many other countriesaround the world to solve countless crimes. Forensicslinguistics is the analysis, study, and how the language is measured on the bases ofthe crime committed, disputes, and judicial procedures.

Forensic linguists haveto give written and oral evidence in court. Basically, the application whichlooks at legal issues, the application of the knowledge of linguistics to asocial environment. Mainly the legal one from where the term linguists derivesfrom. (Olsson, 2004) ForensicPhonetics  Is the part that questionthe identification of the speaker, the resolution content that containsdisputed recording. It has become a lot more established than forensiclinguistics and it has advanced dramatically due to advances with acousticengineering.

Phoneticians can now analyze very distinctive patterns of speechof the speaker and compare it to other candidates in a criminal case. A very importantethic that surrounds forensic phonetics is that it has the power to identify anunknown speaker in criminal cases. Such as bomb threats, a hoax call, or deaththreats. A little bit like forensic science branches analyzes phenomena, butforensic phonetics studies recorded speech and linguists offer their opinionsolely based on the observations they have made.

(Olsson, 2004, p. 11) Cases related to Forensiclinguistics and Phonetics. (V)            Case one: Appeal of Robert Burton vRobert Burton,R case in England’s court of appeals which occurred in 2002 wasreally quite interesting. Mr. Burton was caught red-handed with who he thoughtwere several of his accomplishes until he was arrested he learnt how his assistantswere undercover police officers.  His defensetried to argue the undercover police officers were also involved in illegalactions to what’s called ‘incitement to commit a crime’ because the defensesaid that Mr. Burton had tried to cancel the whole operation on severaloccasions but felt pressured by the officers who he thought were companions towhich he owed a lot of money to.

When the trail started to take pace the policesubmitted, as their evidence numerous recorded telephone call with Mr. burtonabout the operation. They stated that one in particular officer who had a codename ‘Charlie’ had been able to write down all of the conversation from hismemory straight after the conversations had took place. The interesting thingabout his defense is that they did not argue that they were inaccurate, butthey were so perfectly accurate compared with that coming from someone’s memory,which would not have been so perfect. This meant that the conversation wastranscribed from possibly tape-recordings to which the police had previouslydenied to allow tape recordings as they would have shown officer ‘Charlie’pressurizing Mr. Burton to follow through with the operation.

An expertlinguist confirmed that there were only two possibilities, either the officerhad an amazing memory or there was in fact tape recordings involved. This was,however, based on the opinion that had two sets of features. The first feature beingthe appearance of a set of spoken discourse items that are often produced bypeople speaking. For example:”1: discourse markers – items whichtypically occur at the beginnings of utterances – ‘well’, ‘right’, ‘so’;2: acknowledgements of replies toquestions – what some call third parts of exchanges –  realized by ‘yeah’, ‘okay’, ‘alright’ andrepetitions of whole phrases from the preceding utterance;3: other kinds of cross-utterancerepetition and reformulation;4: fillers such as ‘like’ and ‘youknow what I mean’;5: adverbial modifiers like ‘just’,’really’, ‘actually’ and ‘fucking’;6: slang items and non-standardgrammatical forms like ‘gonna”  (Coulthard & Johnson, 133)”.Secondly, Mr. Burton had what iscalled a ‘marked stammer’, that he had learned to control by using a ‘step word’this means that a speaker disguises that he/she is having difficulty being ableto produce some words.

The word what a stepping word was ‘like’ this had not beenproduced in the records. The records from one of Charlie’s records thediscourse markers have been highlighted in bold:  

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