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Language Crimes: The Use and Abuse of Language Evidence in the Courtroom

ISBN: 978-0-631-20153-3
232 pages
June 1996, Wiley-Blackwell
Language Crimes: The Use and Abuse of Language Evidence in the Courtroom (063120153X) cover image
Language Crimes tells the story of some of the remarkable criminal court cases in which Roger Shuy has served as a consultant or expert witness. These intriguing cases show how linguistic analysis can help the courts unravel the ambiguities of taped conversations used in evidence.
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Preface: New Directions.

1. Misconceptions about Language in Law Cases.

2. Bribery.

3. Offering Bribes.

4. Agreeing.

5. Threatening.

6. Admitting.

7. Telling the Truth Versus Perjury.

8. Promising.

9. Asking Questions.

10. On Testifying.
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Roger W. Shuy is Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University. In the past decade he has been consulted in over 200 criminal and civil law cases and has testified as an expert witness in 35 trials. He is former President of the American Association of Applied Linguistics.
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* Gives a unique insight into some remarkable legal cases.
* The first accessible book on the use of linguistic evidence in court.
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"Roger Shuy's book explores some of the most fascinating trials in recent times. His use of linguistic analysis in hearings that involve crimes of language is stunningly creative and makes for gripping reading." Elizabeth Loftus, University of Washington

"Dr Roger Shuy's Language Crimes is an important book. Through the use of materials taken from a series of actual criminal prosecutions, Shuy amply shows the value of sophisticated linguistics analysis for the proper interpretations of oral conversations recorded on electronic tape. Shuy's book, too, is easily read by those without a technical background in linguistics, as he keeps his use of professional jargon to the minimum. As such, Language Crimes should be read - and studied - by all those involved in investigating, prosecuting, defending, and judging in the administration of justice." G. Robert Blakey, The Notre Dame Law School

Language Crimes is a clear and lively exposition of one linguist's important work in bringing the knowledge and skills developed by linguistics into the courtroom, where (as he demonstrates) they are badly needed."Robin Lakoff, University of California, Berkeley

"An excellent work for the student, the lawyer, and the lingust who may not have explored this field at all. The field of Language and Law can truly be seen as having come of age when so prominent a scholar as Roger Shuy has brought forth so readable a volume." American Speech

"A valualbe addition to the understanding of both linguists and lawyers of the contributions the work of the former can make to that of the latter."Book Reviews

"Clear and readable book" Language in Society

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