The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics offers a comprehensive survey of the subdiscipline of Forensic Linguistics, with this new edition providing both updated overviews from leading figures in the field and exciting new contributions from the next generation of forensic linguists.

The Handbook is a unique work of reference to the leading ideas, debates, topics, approaches and methodologies in forensic linguistics and language and the law. It comprises 43 chapters, including entirely new contributions from many international experts, in the areas of Aboriginal claimants, appraisal and stance, author identities online, biased language in capital trials, corpus approaches, false confessions, forensic phonetics, forensic transcription, the historical courtroom, legal interpretation, multilingual law, police crisis negotiation, speaker profiling, and trolling. The chapters include a wealth of examples and case studies so the reader can see forensic linguistics applied and in action. 

Edited and authored by the world’s leading academics and practitioners, The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics is a vital resource for advanced students, researchers and scholars, and will also be of interest to legal, law enforcement and security professionals.

chapter 1|8 pages


ByAlison May, Rui Sousa-Silva, Malcolm Coulthard

part Section I|335 pages

The language of the law and the legal process

part 1.1|82 pages

Legal language and legal meaning

chapter 2|19 pages

Legal talk

Socio-pragmatic aspects of legal questioning: police interviews, prosecutorial discourse and trial discourse
ByAlison May, Elizabeth Holt, Neveen Al Saeed, Nurshafawati Ahmad Sani

chapter 3|16 pages

Legal writing: complexity

Complex documents / average and not-so-average readers
ByGail Stygall

chapter 4|16 pages

Legal writing: attitude and emphasis

Corpus linguistic approaches to ‘legal language’: adverbial expression of attitude and emphasis in supreme court opinions
ByEdward Finegan, Benjamin T. Lee

chapter 5|15 pages

Creating multilingual law

Language and translation at the Court of Justice of the European Union
ByKaren McAuliffe

chapter 6|14 pages

Legal interpretation

The category of ordinary meaning and its role in legal interpretation
ByChristopher Hutton

part 1.2|81 pages

Witnesses and suspects in interviews and investigations

chapter 7|17 pages

Miranda rights

Curtailing coercion in police interrogation: the failed promise of Miranda v. Arizona
ByJanet Ainsworth

chapter 8|15 pages

Witnesses and suspects in interviews

Collecting oral evidence: the police, the public and the written word
ByFrances Rock

chapter 9|17 pages

False confessors

The language of false confession in police interrogation
ByPhilip Gaines, Belén Lowrey-Kinberg

chapter 10|15 pages

Police interviews in the judicial process

Police interviews as evidence
ByKate Haworth

chapter 11|15 pages

Assuming identities online

Authorship synthesis in undercover investigations
ByNicci MacLeod

part 1.3|90 pages

Language in the courtroom

chapter 12|15 pages

Order in Court

Talk-in-interaction in judicial settings
ByPaul Drew, Fabio Ferraz de Almeida

chapter 13|19 pages

Narrative in the trial

Constructing crime stories in court
ByChris Heffer

chapter 14|17 pages

Advances in studies of the historical courtroom

(Con)Textual, ideational and interpersonal dimensions
ByKrisda Chaemsaithong

chapter 16|20 pages

Multimodality in legal interaction

Beyond written and verbal modalities
ByGregory M. Matoesian, Kristin Enola Gilbert

part 1.4|79 pages

Lay participants in the judicial process

chapter 17|14 pages

Instructions to jurors

Redrafting California’s jury instructions
ByPeter M. Tiersma

chapter 18|16 pages

Vulnerable witnesses

Vulnerable witnesses in police investigative interviews in England and Wales
ByMichelle Aldridge-Waddon

chapter 19|16 pages

Rape victims

The discourse of rape trials
BySusan Ehrlich

chapter 20|16 pages

Defendants’ allocutions at sentencing

Courtroom apologies
ByM. Catherine Gruber

chapter 21|15 pages

Aboriginal claimants

Adjusting legal procedures to accommodate linguistic and cultural issues in hearings in Aboriginal land rights claims in the Northern Territory of Australia
ByPeter R.A. Gray

part Section II|263 pages

The linguist as expert in the legal process

part 2.1|116 pages

Expert and process

chapter 22|15 pages

The forensic linguist

The expert linguist meets the adversarial system
ByLawrence M. Solan

chapter 23|18 pages

Trademark linguistics

Trademarks: language that one owns
ByRonald R. Butters

chapter 24|18 pages

Speaker profiling and forensic voice comparison

The auditory-acoustic approach
ByMichael Jessen

chapter 25|16 pages

Forensic phonetics and automatic speaker recognition

The complementarity of human- and machine-based forensic speaker comparison
ByDominic Watt, Georgina Brown

chapter 26|16 pages

Forensic transcription

The case for transcription as a dedicated branch of linguistic science
ByHelen Fraser

chapter 27|13 pages

Consumer product warnings

Composition, identification and assessment of adequacy
ByBethany K. Dumas

chapter 28|18 pages

Terrorism and forensic linguistics

Linguistics in terrorism cases
ByRoger W. Shuy

part 2.2|57 pages

Multilingualism in legal contexts

chapter 29|20 pages

Non-native speakers in detention

Assessing the English language proficiency of non-native speakers in detention: an expert witness account
ByFiona English

chapter 30|17 pages

Court interpreting

The need to raise the bar: court interpreters as specialized experts
BySandra Hale

chapter 31|19 pages

Interpreting outside the courtroom

‘A shattered mirror?’ Interpreting in law enforcement contexts outside the courtroom
ByKrzysztof Kredens, Eloísa Monteoliva-García, Ruth Morris

part 2.3|87 pages

Authorship and opinion

chapter 32|16 pages

Experts and opinions

In my opinion
ByMalcolm Coulthard

chapter 33|19 pages

Forensic stylistics

The theory and practice of forensic stylistics
ByGerald R. McMenamin

chapter 34|18 pages

Text messaging forensics

Txt 4n6: idiolect-free authorship analysis?
ByTim Grant

chapter 35|17 pages


Evidence-based detection and analysis in forensic contexts
ByRui Sousa-Silva

chapter 36|15 pages

Computational forensic linguistics

Computer-assisted document comparison
ByDavid Woolls

part Section III|109 pages

New directions

chapter 37|17 pages

Corpus approaches to forensic linguistics

Applying corpus data and techniques in forensic contexts
ByDavid Wright

chapter 38|16 pages

Corpora and legal interpretation

Corpus approaches to ordinary meaning in legal interpretation
ByStefan Th. Gries

chapter 39|16 pages

Police crisis negotiation

An assessment of existing models
ByDawn Archer, Matt Todd

chapter 40|15 pages

Investigative linguistics

ByJack Grieve, Helena Woodfield

chapter 41|19 pages

‘Prison has been a proper punishment’

Investigating stance in forensic and legal contexts
ByTammy Gales

chapter 42|15 pages

Pranksters, provocateurs, propagandists

Using forensic corpus linguistics to identify and understand trolling
ByClaire Hardaker

chapter 43|9 pages

Concluding remarks

Future directions
ByMalcolm Coulthard, Alison May, Rui Sousa-Silva