Welcome to the Forensic Linguistics Project at Hofstra University
To use the scientific analysis of language to advance the cause of justice in the application of the law, and to promote the study of forensic linguistics.
Linguistics is the science of language analysis. Language is key in the U.S. judicial system. Through language we promulgate laws, issue subpoenas and warrants, question suspects, give testimony, write contracts, confess, claim and deny. Attorneys use language to write briefs, make opening and closing arguments, question and cross-examine witnesses. Judges issue orders, write decisions, and charge juries. As biology and physics play crucial roles in the interpretation of forensic medical data, linguistics enables a deeper understanding of forensic language phenomena.
The Forensic Linguistic Project conducts original research, accepts outside assignments, and organizes lectures and conferences. Through the Forensic Linguistics Project, the linguists -- Dr. Leonard, allied professors, and forensic linguistic interns -- attempt to help people with legal issues that relate to language by accepting pro bono research assignments.
In January, 2004, The Forensic Linguistics Project began to work with Hofstra Law School Legal Clinics to assist on several language-related cases. In these cases, forensic linguistic interns, supervised by their faculty, work with third-year law students on pro bono matters under the supervision of clinic faculty members.