Author Identification In The Forensic Setting

Carole E. Chaski

in The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law

Published in print March 2012 | ISBN: 9780199572120
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Linguistics

 Author Identification In The Forensic Setting

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Author identification can play a role in the investigation of many different types of crimes, civil transactions, and security issues. Over the last fifteen years, author identification has become increasingly recognized by research-funding agencies, investigative agencies, the forensic science community, and the courts, as a forensic science that deals with pattern evidence. Forensic authorship identification methods, despite their differences, require that similar steps be taken: choosing an appropriate linguistic level, coding, engaging in statistical analysis and decision making, and conducting validation testing. This article presents a review of currently available and emerging methods for identifying authorship in the forensic setting, presents some current methods based on the categorization scheme, and provides some ideas about why some methods fail to obtain high accuracy. Finally, it considers two methods that are currently used in criminal investigations and trials: forensic stylistics and software-generated analysis.

Keywords: author identification; forensic science; pattern evidence; coding; statistical analysis; decision making; validation testing; categorization scheme; forensic stylistics; software-generated analysis

Article.  6054 words. 

Subjects: Linguistics ; Forensic Linguistics

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