Forensic Linguistics

Asylum-seekers, Refugees and Immigrants

Iman Nick (Ed.)

by Iman Nick (Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL))

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According to international statistics, the world is currently undergoing one of the largest refugee catastrophes in modern history. This humanitarian crisis has stimulated the mobilization of countless private and public rescue and relief efforts. Yet, deep-seated concerns over potential breaches of national security and wide-spread fears over uncontrolled mass immigration have prompted many policy-makers to caution against the unregulated entry of foreigners with little or no identity documentation. In an effort to strike a balance between addressing the needs of these two competing sets of concerns, an increasing number of governments have instituted policies and procedures for identity verification.

In this multi-authored work, the focus is placed upon the widespread governmental use of language analyses to investigate displaced persons’ registered origins. This dynamic collection of writings provides readers with a thought-provoking, politically-stimulating, intellectually challenging examination of the pitfalls and promise of these practices across differing sociopolitical, legal, linguistic, and geographical contexts. This contextual diversity reflects the unique strength of this reference work. Unlike so many other publications on the market that focus rigidly upon a single vantage point, this work offers a dynamic exploration of the theory and practice of language analysis for governmentally-mandated identification procedures.

From the linguistic scholar to the human rights activist, the agency worker to the asylum-seeking applicant, this collection offers a complex and rich cross-section of professional and personal experiences. The multiplicity of perspectives is powerfully complemented by the heterogeneity of disciplines represented in this work. From sociology, psychology, demography, and language policy to linguistics, ethics, international affairs, government and politics, this work will satisfy a wide variety of readers’ scholarly interests and commensurately serves as an excellent reference work for researchers and practitioners as well as a valuable teaching resource for graduate and undergraduate courses.

List of illustrations
Abbreviations and acronyms
Notes on reviewers and contributors
Chapter 1 Language analysis in the asylum procedure: consider the context
Tina Cambier-Langeveld
Chapter 2 Native speaker non-linguists in LADO: an insider perspective
Jim Hoskin
Chapter 3 Linguistic Origin Identification in focus: theory and practice in LOID
Tanya Prokofyeva
Chapter 4 Collecting contemporary knowledge on Gorani spoken east of Mosul
Jon Findahl
Chapter 5 Syrian or non-Syrian? Reflections on the use of LADO in the UK
Mohammed Ateek and Sebastian M. Rasinger
Chapter 6 The discursive construction of (in)credibility. Language ideologies and intertextuality in Austrian asylum procedures
Sabine Lehner
Chapter 7 Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO) in German asylum law
Emilia Lindroos and Stefan Kirchner
Chapter 8 What’s in a question: a case for a culturally appropriate interviewing protocol in the Australian Refugee Review Tribunal
R. Dian Dia-an Muniroh, Jessica Findling, and Georgina Heydon
Chapter 9 Fairness and justice in Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin of asylum seekers (LADO)
Tim McNamara and Doris Schüpbach
Chapter 10 Questionable means and dubious ends: ethical lessons psychology can offer forensic linguistics regarding LA(DO)
I.M. Nick

Dr. I. M. Nick holds a PhD in English linguistics; an MA in German Linguistics; an MSc in Forensic and Investigative Psychology; a BA in German Language and Literature; and a BSc in Clinical and Social Psychology. For each of these degrees, she obtained university and departmental honours. In the summer of 2010, she was awarded the German post-doctoral degree, the ‘Habilitation’, for her research on English Sociolinguistics. Within Forensic Linguistics, her areas of research interest include suicide and threatening letter analysis, and language policy and planning. Aside from her university teaching duties, she also serves as a journal editor and reviewer. From 2014 to 2016, she served as the elected Chair of the Committee for Ethnic Diversity in Linguistics (CEDL) for the Linguistic Society of America. She is the president of the American Name Society, the largest and oldest scholarly society for onomastic research. Within this field, her area of specialization includes the statistical analysis of criminal aliases. Dr. Nick is the Co-founder and President of the Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL), an international scholarly society devoted to the investigation application of linguistic evidence for the promotion of social justice. She has published extensively in international peer-reviewed linguistics journals (e.g., Current Issues in Language Planning; Language and Law; Language; Journal of Multilingual and Multicultural Development; and Names).

Language policy and planning, forensic speech analysis, immigration and refugee policy, displaced persons, stateless people, migration management, humanitarian affairs, resettlement programs

Bibliographic Information

Book Title

Forensic Linguistics

Book Subtitle

Asylum-seekers, Refugees and Immigrants





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Publication date
February 2019