International Linguistic Association presents

Three-Day Seminar on Forensic Linguistics

April 5-7, 2024

On Zoom

This three-day seminar is mainly for students of linguistics or criminal justice (or anyone) interested in learning about Forensic Linguistics. Each session is led by an expert in the field who will address the role of language in the legal and law enforcement systems. Workshops include breakout room activities, audience participation and/or case analysis.

Click on the session title for more information.

Morning Session
Afternoon Session
April 5

Opening Plenary: 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Robert Leonard
Dr. Robert Leonard
Hofstra University
Forensic Linguistics in the Cause of Justice

Lecture/Workshop: 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Shonna Trinch
Dr. Shonna Trinch
John Jay College, CUNY
What Discrepancies Say in Victim-Witness Testimony and Police Confessions

April 6

Lecture/Workshop: 10:30 to 1:00p.m.

Shonna Trinch
Dr. Mo Matarese
Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
Linguistic Discretion in Law Enforcement Settings: An Interactive Workshop

Lecture/Workshop: 2:00 to 4:30 p.m.

Shonna Trinch
Dr. Christine Jacknick
Borough of Manhattan Community College, CUNY
Obstetric Violence: Using the tools of forensic linguistics to examine assault in medical spaces

April 7
Closing Plenary: 10:30 to 11:45 a.m.

Shonna Trinch
Dr. Tammy Gales
Hofstra University
Requesting and Expressing Remorse: An Analysis of Speech Acts in Indigenous Parole Board Hearings

NOTE: All times mentioned are Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Registered individuals will receive the Zoom link a day prior to the seminar.

Registration Fees

Non-ILA members: $45 [includes a one-year student membership to ILA]
ILA members: $15

Once registered, you will receive a list of reading materials in preparation for the seminar. For more information, send email to

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What is the International Linguistic Association?
    ILA is an organization that dates back to 1943 when a group of linguists at colleges and universities in the New York area, including many members of the École Libre des Hautes Études in exile, came together to form the Linguistic Circle of New York. In 1969, in recognition of the expanded character of its membership, the society's name was changed to the International Linguistic Association (ILA). Since that period, the ILA has emerged with a solid membership throughout the United States as well as various countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas.
  2. What is Forensic Linguistics?
    Forensic linguistics is a field within linguistics that applies linguistic tools to understand the language used in the legal system and judicial process. It also examines how linguistic tools can be used to solve crimes.
  3. Do I have to know linguistics to participate in this seminar?
    No. Although some knowledge of linguistics will help, it is not necessary.
  4. I am a non-ILA member and am interested in the Friday session only. Do I still have to pay $45?
    Yes. The seminar is open to ILA members only. The registration includes a one-year student membership to ILA and a certification of participation. Membership includes digital access to the journal WORD and invitation to ILA monthly lecture series.
  5. What kind of reading materials will be sent upon registration?
    You will receive scholarly article(s) that each speaker recommends. They may also share a select bibliography for those interested in learning more about the topic.
  6. Do I have to read all the materials that are sent?
    No. But it helps you be more engaged in the seminar and prepare questions you may have that the experts can answer.
  7. When will I receive the Zoom link?
    You will receive the Zoom link on Thursday, April 4, 2024.
  8. When do I receive the certificate of participation?
    The E-Certificate will be sent to you on Monday, April 8, 2024.
  9. How do I contact the seminar organizer?
    Please send your email to: