[Corpora-List] Corpus of threats?

Angus Grieve-Smith grvsmth at panix.com
Fri Nov 2 14:12:49 CET 2012

On 11/1/2012 12:59 PM, Tyler Schnoebelen wrote:
> I was looking over the records of searches that led to my corpus blog
> (http://corplinguistics.wordpress.com) and came across:
> "death threat corpus linguistics"
> This actually is a pretty interesting idea for a corpus. Does anyone
> know about such a corpus or something similar that would help
> researchers investigate the language of threatening/intimidation?
> Vaguely law/criminal-related corpora suggestions are also welcomed. As
> would "flame war" corpora.

There's a whole field of "forensic linguistics" that deals with language, criminal justice and dispute resolution. They do use corpora, although they may not use methods as sophisticated as the ones we use. Anything they find has to hold up in a court of law, or else force a settlement or plea bargain.

This past spring at the International Linguistic Association in New York, we had a lecture by James Fitzgerald, a former FBI agent who used corpus methods to help catch the Unabomber. This Language Log post talks about some of his work:



-Angus B. Grieve-Smith

grvsmth at panix.com

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