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Linguistic Approaches to the Analysis of Online Terrorist Threats

Abstract

This chapter focuses on online terrorist threats. For many linguists, the best training for a forensic linguist is a course in descriptive and applied linguistics because each case will normally require a different selection of tools from the linguistic toolbox. Coulthard and Johnson (An introduction to forensic linguistics: Language in evidence. London and New York: Routledge, 2007) provide examples of forensic analysis focusing on morphological meaning, syntactic complexity, lexico-grammatical ambiguity, lexical meaning, pragmatic meaning, speech-to-writing transformation, narrative analysis and features of non-native language usage. Since 2015 I have been using a longitudinal linguistic approach to the analysis of online language crimes relating to security issues (Longhi, 2018; 2021; Du discours comme champ au corpus comme terrain. Contribution méthodologique à l’analyse sémantique du discours. Paris: L’Harmattan, 2018), in which all levels of linguistic analysis have proved to be useful in detecting, identifying and characterising a threatening phenomenon. This chapter will illustrate the application of different linguistic methodologies, namely, textometry and semantic analysis, together with various tools, by drawing on the detailed analysis of an exemplary case of online terrorist threats, taken from my collaboration with the French Gendarmerie.

Keywords

  • Clue
  • Deep learning
  • Digital humanities
  • Forensic linguistics
  • Replicability
  • Stylistics
  • Stylometry
  • Terrorist threats
  • Textometry
  • Trace

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Longhi, J. (2022). Linguistic Approaches to the Analysis of Online Terrorist Threats. In: Guillén-Nieto, V., Stein, D. (eds) Language as Evidence. Palgrave Macmillan, Cham. https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84330-4_13

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-84330-4_13

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