2nd IAFL News Briefing


Welcome to the August news briefing of the IAFL – International Association of Forensic LinguistsIn this second issue, Janet Ainsworth, President of the IAFL, welcomes you to this briefing and announces a number of initiatives. Learn about what the IAFL Executive Committee has been up to!

The last few months have been busy. On 24th June, the IAFL Vice-President Isabel Picornell gave a talk titled ‘“Something odd is going on”: analysing the linguistics of faked contexts’ as part of the FL Seminar Series of the University of Porto. On 7th July the 2nd Roundtable on Practices and Standards in Forensic Authorship Analysis was held online at the University of Manchester. The event was recorded, so you will still be able to watch it if you missed it. 

As we mentioned in last month’s briefing, the meetings of the IAFL have always been an important part of our DNA, and while online events have kept us busy we all look forward to meeting in person. Until then, we have some exciting events coming up. 

The 15th Biennial Conference of the IAFL, which will be organised and hosted by the Aston Institute for Forensic Linguistics (AIFL) at Aston University, will take place Monday 13 to Wednesday 15 September. Those presenting a paper should have registered by 30 July 2021, so that the organisers have the time to give presenters access to the dedicated website to upload their pre-recorded talk. Those who are not presenting a paper can register by 31 August 2021 here.

In last month’s briefing, we announced that the University of Porto will host the 4th European Conference of the IAFL – International Association of Forensic Linguists in July 2022. You can start planning and save the dates in your calendar: Monday 18 to Thursday 21 July. Let us take this opportunity to remind IAFL members that proposals for regional conferences can be submitted anytime for consideration by the Executive Committee. 

An important part of forensic linguistics work is access to data. Tammy Gales, our Secretary, in collaboration with Dakota Wing, has made an excellent contribution to the field by making more data available for research. Their website Forensic Linguistic Data and Resources, a site devoted to providing public access to hard-to-find, freely available data on topics related to forensic linguistics and language and the law, has just been relaunched. The revamped website provides links to an expanded range of individual data sources, with a new, more robust way to search each category, as well as to large collections of data on particular topics. We invite you to visit the website. 

Last month we announced the loss of one of our valued members, past President Ron Butters (2009-2011). This month we have more sad news, as we lost Bethany K. Dumas and John Olsson. The IAFL Executive Committee pays tribute to both forensic linguists: Janet Ainsworth, President of the IAFL, remembers Bethany, and Julia Kupper remembers John

Before you go (and, should you be in the Northern Hemisphere, probably have a well-deserved break), it is worth reminding all members that the IAFL will have an upcoming election and this will be the first time in the history of the Association that all members from across the world will be able to vote without having to attend the IAFL conference. Make sure that your membership is not overdue so that you can cast your vote. The names and profiles of the candidates to the new Executive Committee will be posted soon on the IAFL website. We will also have a vote on the revision of our Constitution. To read more about it, log in to the IAFL website and read the new Constitution proposal here

We hope you enjoy reading this briefing, the last one that will be emailed publicly to the FL List. Future briefings will be made available to members only, via email and on the IAFL members-only page

That’s all for now. Should that be the case, enjoy the Summer! 

On behalf of the IAFL EC
Rui Sousa-Silva, Publicity Officer