Forensic Linguistic Consulting Services

Forlingua Overview

The forensic linguistic consulting services provided by Forlingua are the culmination of over 30 years of professional experience in forensic communications teaching and research in various educational and professional contexts by its Director, Dr. Terry Royce. Dr. Royce uses the theoretical knowledge and practical insights gained from his professional expertise in forensic linguistics and forensic discourse analysis to provide expert advice to those who have questions about how language is structured, organised, and used in written, verbal or electronic documents in legal contexts such as crime and policing, judicial procedures, disputes in law, counter terrorism and security investigations.

Dr. Royce also provides intensive, interactive professional development sessions on spoken and written communication in professional contexts, and has conducted workshops for various commercial, government, and non-governmental entities. For example, he has worked with various specialist units in the Counter Terrorism and Special Tactics Command (CT&ST) with the NSW Police Service: the Negotiation Unit (language and crisis negotiation), the Security Management Unit (police report writing), and the Strategy Unit (advanced postgraduate research skills).

“His thoughts were slow, his words were few, and never made to glisten. But he was a joy wherever he went. You should have heard him listen”.


* from a presentation by Dr Royce at the ALAPP Conference 2012, Sydney, December 6, 2012: “Interaction in legal discourse: crisis negotiation, investigative interviewing, and interrogations”


Forlingua also provides interactive professional development workshops for

  • developing excellence in spoken and written communication in professional contexts
  • advanced research skills and report building techniques.

If you need some professional advice, professional development sessions, or expert opinion on communication in legal contexts, I very much look forward to hearing from you.


Forensic Discourse Analysis

Forensic discourse analysis generally involves the application of text analytic techniques to whole texts and their constituent parts. This may include the style, word choice, spelling, punctuation, rhetorical strategies and overall structure of written, verbal or electronic texts. It is often used for analysing anonymous, disputed, or forged communications.

Forensic Multimodal Analysis

Forensic multimodal discourse analysis is an extension of discourse analysis techniques to the analysis of texts (referred to as ‘multimodal’ texts) which include non-language elements, such as images, sketch drawings, and symbols, or the use of gestures in combination with language. It is increasingly being used in policing and counter-terrorism contexts.

Forensic Conversation Analysis

Forensic conversation analysis studies the structure of a spoken conversation by examining how word choices are made to organise the exchanges between people. Forensic linguists can analyse recorded interviews and interrogations, either via transcripts or using phonetic techniques to analyse the voices as they are heard. An example: police crisis/hostage negotiations.

Forensic Authorship ID Analysis

Forensic authorship ID analysis is aimed at determining whether a given individual said or wrote something as opposed to someone else. It assumes that we all have particular patterns of language use (vocabulary, collocations, pronunciation, spelling, grammar, etc). A problem here is the needs for enough document data to establish a baseline pattern.

Forensic Visual Analysis

Forensic visual analysis focuses on the meaningful ways that images project their meanings to the viewers. It interprets an image (or a media segment) in terms of what is represented (visual participants, actions, attributes), interactional meanings between viewer and the viewed, and how it all this interrelates with composition and layout.

Studying Forensic Linguistics?

For advice on further study in forensic linguistics and degree programs a very good first step is to join the Forensic Linguistics List and check out what’s doing at their web site. The group homepage is at For studying in higher degree programs, look up the MA programs at Aston and Cardiff Universities (UK).