About

The Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL) was founded in 2019. It is a substantial expansion of the former Aston Centre for Forensic Linguistics that was founded in 2008. The expansion was funded via a £6M investment including a £5.4M award from Research England’s Expanding Excellence in England (E3) fund.

The aim of the Institute is to improve the delivery of justice through the analysis of language. We combine world-leading research and practice with teaching and training in forensic linguistics.

Events

View all of our events

Research

Members of the Institute include leading researchers in forensic linguistics, forensic speech science, and forensic inference and statistics. Together, we have attracted millions of pounds in external research funding and have published numerous books, book chapters, and peer-reviewed journal articles.

  • We conduct research to develop tools to assist law enforcement to investigate crime involving linguistic evidence, such as ransom notes and online threatening and abusive written communications.
  • We also conduct research on police interviewing techniques in order to improve their usefulness as evidence in court.
  • We conduct research aimed at improving the precision and comprehensibility of written legal texts.
  • We also conduct research in forensic speech science, e.g., development of acoustic and statistical analysis techniques to assist a court of law to decide whether the voices on two recordings were produced by the same speaker or not.

Details of our research are provided within the webpages of the Institute’s research groups.

People

 

Members

Dr Sarah Atkins
    Research Fellow in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FoLD

Dr Lucia Busso
    Research Associate in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FoLD

Dr Emily Chiang
    Research Associate in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FTA

Prof Malcom Coulthard 
Chair of Aston Institute of Forensic Linguistics Advisory Board
    Emeritus Professor in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: Advisory Board

Dr Felicity Deamer 
    Research Fellow in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: SILC

Prof Tim Grant
Director of the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
Director of FoLD
    Professor of Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
    Director
        Aston Language Technologies LTD
Active in: FTA | SILC | FoLD

Dr Kate Haworth
    Director of the Centre for Spoken Interaction in Legal Contexts
    Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: SILC

Dr Krzysztof Kredens
Director of the Centre for Forensic Text Analysis
Director of the Master of Arts in Forensic Linguistics Programme
    Senior Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FTA

Dr Andrea Mojedano Batel
    Research Associate in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FTA

Dr Geoffrey Stewart Morrison
Director of the Forensic Speech Science Laboratory
Director of Centre for Forensic Data Science
    Associate Professor of Forensic Speech Science
        Computer Science Department, School of Engineering and Applied Science, Aston University
    Director and Forensic Consultant
        Forensic Evaluation Ltd
Active in: FSSL

Dr Ria Perkins
    Aston University 50th Anniversary Research Fellow
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
     Director, Founder and Consultant
         Forensic Linguistics Consulting Ltd
 Active in: FTA

Dr Márton Petykó 
     Research Associate in Forensic Linguistics
         Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
 Active in: FoLD

Dr Piotr Pezik 
    Research Associate in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FTA

Dr Emma Richardson 
    Research Fellow in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: SILC

Dr Tahmineh Tayebi 
    Lecturer in Forensic Linguistics
        Department of English, School of Language and Social Sciences, Aston University
Active in: FTA

 

Adjunct Members

Dr Ewald Enzinger 
Visiting Research Fellow
    Senior Research Engineer
    Eduworks Corporation
Active in: FSSL

Dr Isabel Picornell 
Visiting Research Fellow
    Director
        QED Forensic Linguistics Ltd
Active in: FTA | SILC

Dr Claudia Rosas
Visiting Research Fellow
    Associate Professor
        Instituto de Lingüística y Literatura, Universidad Austral de Chile
Active in: FSSL

Prof Cuiling Zhang
Visiting Research Fellow
    Director
        Chongqing Institutes of Higher Education Key Forensic Science Laboratory
    Professor and Vice Dean
        School of Criminal Investigation, Southwest University of Political Science and Law
Active in: FSSL

Teaching

Members of the Institute teach the undergraduate courses “Language and Law” and “Language as Evidence”.

We run a one-year Master of Arts in Forensic Linguistics programme.

Potential PhD students should in the first instance make enquiries with the Aston academic staff member with whom they are interested in working. Note that only members with the rank of Lecturer, Senior Lecturer, Reader, Associate Professor, or Professor can supervise PhD students.

Continuing Professional Development (CPD)

Members of the Institute have substantial experience in providing Continuing Professional Development (CPD) training for lawyers, law enforcement investigators, and forensic scientists. This includes open CPD events, and tailored training delivered to law enforcement agencies, government departments, and commercial organisations. Please contact us if you want training tailored to your needs.

Topics we offer training on include:

  • General forensic linguistics
  • Interpreter-mediated interviewing
  • Linguistic investigative skills
  • Online identity assumption for undercover police officers
  • Forensic speech science
  • Forensic inference and statistics
Casework and Consulting
Casework

The Institute itself does not conduct casework; however, members of the Institute conduct investigative and evidential casework in the civil and criminal courts in multiple jurisdictions around the world. Our research informs our casework activity, and our casework experience informs our research and teaching.

You can view some descriptions of past cases below.

Enquiries regarding casework should be directed to individual Institute members.

Consulting

Members of the Institute also take part in non-casework consulting.  This includes advising commercial security organisations, lawyers, and HR departments about risks management.

 

Contact

Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics
Aston University 
Aston Triangle
Birmingham
B4 7ET
United Kingdom 
E-mail: forensiclingusitics@aston.ac.uk