The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Colloquium 10/2 - John Baugh (Washington University in St.Louis)

Speaker: John Baugh (Washington University in St.Louis)
Title: Linguistics for Legal Purposes
Time: Friday, October 2nd, 3:30pm – 5pm

Abstract: This presentation includes evidence pertaining to six legal disputes where linguistic results were central to the adjudication of each case. Housing discrimination, murder trials, and civil litigation utilize diverse linguistic analyses. In addition, ambiguity is central to a case where allegations of a hostile work environment resulted in a class action lawsuit by men born in Africa, all of whom are nonnative English speakers. Problems associated with non-linguists serving as linguistic experts in court are also discussed, thereby emphasizing the importance of established linguistic analyses in support of the quest for equal justice under the law.