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Volume 10, number 1 (June 2003)


CONTENTS

EDITORIAL FOREWORD

Editors


REASONABLE MAN’ AND ‘REASONABLE DOUBT’: THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE, ANGLO CULTURE AND ANGLO-AMERICAN LAW

Anna Wierzbicka

This paper investigates, in a historical and cultural perspective, the meaning of the word reasonable, and in particular, of the phrases reasonable man and reasonable doubt, which play an important role in Anglo-American law. Drawing on studies of the British Enlightenment such as Porter (2000), it traces the modern English concept of ‘reasonableness’ back to the intellectual revolution brought about by the writings of John Locke, who (as Porter says) ‘replaced rationalism with reasonableness, in a manner which became programmatic for the Enlightenment in Britain’. The paper also argues that the meaning of the word reasonable has changed over the last two centuries and that as a result, the meaning of the phrases reasonable man and beyond reasonable doubt has also changed; but since these phrases were continually used for over two centuries and became entrenched in Anglo-American law as well as in ordinary language, and since the older meaning of reasonable is no longer known to most speakers, the change has, generally speaking, gone unnoticed. On a theoretical level, the paper argues that meaning cannot be investigated in a precise and illuminating manner without a coherent semantic framework; and that a suitable framework is provided by the ‘NSM’ semantic theory.

Keywords: reasonable doubt, reasonable man, natural semantic metalanguage


IDENTIFYING THE SOURCE OF CRITICAL DETAILS IN CONFESSIONS

Martin D. Hill

Interrogations leading to confessions can elicit both an admission of guilt and details to help validate the confession. Using a novel means of analysis, the interrogation was treated as a series of dynamic informational exchanges and the source of key details was identified. Questions and answers were classified according to the degree to which they provided information. Using a test case, in 212 of 340 questions the interrogators provided details to confirm or deny. In other questions, critical details were provided by the police without requesting confirmation. This pattern was reflected when the confession was divided into individual topics. None of the key, specific, verifiable details were provided by the confessor. This method of analysis is presented as a means of assessing the degree to which a confessor demonstrates guilty knowledge.

Keywords: confessions, interrogation, guilty knowledge


EARWITNESS IDENTIFICATION OVER THE TELEPHONE AND IN FIELD SETTINGS

A. Daniel Yarmey

Earwitnesses were asked to describe and identify the voice of a young woman to whom they had spoken approximately five minutes earlier either in a naturalistic field setting or over the telephone. Witnesses were given a single tape-recorded voice of either the target or a highly similar foil, or a target present or a target absent six-person voice line-up. Half of the witnesses in the naturalistic settings were given a photograph of the target as a retrieval cue when they attempted to describe and identify the voice of the target. Witnesses gave few descriptions of the speaker’s voice. Voice identification was poor in both types of setting. Those witnesses who were prepared for a memory test were superior to non-prepared witnesses on the subsequent identification test. Photographic retrieval cues did not influence voice descriptions, but did minimize false identifications on the target absent line-up for witnesses prepared for the test. The six-person line-up proved to be significantly superior to the one-person lineup in minimizing false identifications of the most highly similar sounding foil.

Keywords: speaker identification, lineup, showup, voice description, telephone


NOT SO FRESH IN THE MIND: A FORENSIC LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS OF SUSPECTED MEMORIZED NARRATIVE ESSAYS

Graham Kennedy

The Hong Kong Certificate of Education (HKCE) English Language writing exam is taken by more than 110, 000 fifth-form students every year. The candidates are required to write a narrative, discursive or descriptive essay of approximately 300 words. During the marking process, some 150–200 scripts are usually identified as ‘memorized’ and tagged for special marking. About a third of these are finally assessed as being wholly or partly memorized and are penalized through having the memorized parts disregarded. Until recently, the assessment process has been a wholly subjective and ‘unscientific’ one. Newly developed software, however, has allowed for a swifter and more systematic analysis of such scripts and revealed a previously unsuspected degree of sophistication in the use of memorized material

Keywords: CopyCatch, narrative, examinations, metaphors, Chinese


BETTER TOOLS FOR THE TRADE AND HOW TO USE THEM

David Woolls

This article is a follow-up to ‘Tools for the Trade’ (Woolls and Coulthard, 1998). All the programs in the Vocalyse Toolkit described in that article have been developed in response to the requirements arising from particular groups of cases, some of which are used below to illustrate both the use of the tools and how they have been extended in the past four years. One application of Copycatch, the most widely used tool and that which was developed first, is described in Kennedy ([x-ref to be inserted at proof stage]), so only the latest functional changes are reported below. Because one of the central features of the current version of all the tools is their use of colour, no examples have been included in this paper. The reader is invited to visit the Copycatch web site, www.copycatch.freeserve.co.uk, where annotated examples will be found.

Keywords: plagiarism, collusion, patchwriting, historical authorship attribution


FORENSIC STUDY OF A CASE INVOLVING SMS TEXT-TO-SPEECH CONVERSION

Michael Jessen, Stefan Gfroerer and Olaf Koster

The process of decoding the content of a message involving Short Message-to-speech conversion is described in the form of a forensic case study. The intelligibility of the message was low, primarily due to the fact that the written input to the text-to-speech system was inTurkish although the system was designed for text-tospeech conversion in German. This created some form of synthesised Turkish with a German “accent”. It is shown how “spectrogram reading” can be employed in the task of deriving phonetic categories from the signal of the synthetic speech message. In order to obtain a maximally accurate estimate of the input typed by the sender, one disputed passage of the SMS-to-speech message was subjected to a simulation. It is described how a full match between the case material and the simulated passage was obtained, despite typographical errors and incorrect Turkish orthography on the part of the sender.

Keywords: Forensic speech decoding; speech synthesis; text-to-speech; Short


REVIEW ARTICLE: 'FORENSIC SPEAKER IDENTIFICATION', BY PHILIP ROSE (2002)Michael Jessen

PHD ABSTRACTS

OBITUARIES

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西北政法大学外国语学院刘蔚铭教授创建与维护

2002-05-062008-01-25