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Forensic Linguistics

  • Know what was said and why; what wasn’t said and why.
  • All communications preceded by thought. Everything said or not said is a decision.
  • Memories are physical - neuron connections (smells, sounds, sights, feelings, etc). 
  • Telling the truth is easier than lying/creating. 
  • Calibrate to the individual: pace, rhythm, vocabulary, blinking rate, focus, mannerisms, hand movements, etc. Introductory session prior to interview is very important.
  • Partial truths - we learn at an early age to tell partial truths; convince ourselves partial truths = whole truths (misleading)
  • If you tell me something knowing it is misleading, is that telling the truth?
  • Everything contaminates - even questions.
  • A person can be truthful and not factual.
  • Pronouns reveal ..  My daughter vs. My other daughter vs. My youngest daughter.
  • Denials. “I deny … ≠ a denial; “I didn’t do it.” = a denial.
  • Past tense, active voice = credible for a past event. Passive voice, present tense, change in voice = possible deception.
  • Patterns are important (calibrate); change of patterns is most important.
  • Question structure very important. Avoid wiggle words; use only words mutually understood.


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