About TALE

TALE: The Association for Linguistic Evidence is an association for professionals who handle forensic linguistic evidence as

  • law enforcement,
  • private investigators,
  • security consultants,
  • data aggregators,
  • legal analysts,
  • litigation support professionals
  • attorneys,
  • judges,
  • law professors specializing in evidence,
  • intelligence analysts,
  • court translators and court interpreters,
  • court reporters,
  • fraud examiners,
  • digital forensic examiners,
  • forensic document examiners,
  • linguists, computational linguists, psycholinguists, sociolinguists,
  • statisticians,
  • cognitive scientists,
  • psychologists, psychiatrists,
  • computer scientists,
  • data scientists and business intelligence analysts.

This list is not inclusive –you may be using forensic linguistic evidence in a profession that is not listed above.

As professionals with the highest ethical standards, TALE members seek the most reliable methods of handling linguistic evidence in the forensic setting, as anything less would weaken the integrity of our justice system.

The primary purpose of TALE is the development of standards for forensic linguistic evidence, including standards for

  • methods,
  • data collection,
  • training and education, and
  • ethical practice as expert witnesses.

TALE creates a forum,  in which members can freely

  • discuss the current state of forensic linguistics and forensic science in general,
  • encourage each other to develop and test forensic linguistic methods independent of any litigation,
  • encourage each other to develop, offer, use and admit the most reliable forensic linguistic methods in both investigation and adjudication,
  • discover potential partners for research collaboration.

TALE sponsors the Telling TALE Forensic Linguistics Blog. Members of TALE are welcome to contribute posts as well as comments.

TALE sponsors a LinkedIN Group, Forensic Linguistic Evidence. This group is open and moderated, and contributors do not have to be members of TALE. Since its inception on August 30, 2012, this group has grown to an international group with over 480 members (as of December 31, 2013).

TALE publishes a journal, LESLI: Linguistic Evidence in Security, Law and Intelligence, through ILE and the University of Pittsburgh, in which members can

  • read and publish articles that are vetted by double-blind, academic peer review by a well-respected group of experts in linguistics, cognitive science, computer science, psychology, security, law and intelligence,
  • post research needs and requests from the security, law and intelligence communities,
  • read annual research reviews and updates,
  • read stimulating and sometimes controversial policy discussions in essays by established contributors to the field of forensic linguistics,
  • discover new sources of data collection and availability, with security restrictions,
  • disseminate validation test results as quickly as possible,
  • and find discussions of cases which have been fully adjudicated, without any pending appeals or ongoing litigation or settlement procedures.

For more information, see LESLI. The first volume and issue was published in December 2013.

TALE has two tracks: Security/Law/Intelligence Analysts [SLI] and Researcher-Practitioners [RP].

  • SLI includes law enforcement, security analysts and consultants, intelligence analysts, private investigators, business intelligence analysts, prosecutors, defense attorneys, plaintiff attorneys, legal evidence professors.
  • RP includes linguists, translator-interpreters, cognitive scientists, psychologists, psychiatrists, computer scientists, engineers.

TALE has five levels of membership: Fellow, Founding Member, Member, Provisional Member and Student Member.

Annual Dues are a modest $50 for membership ($25 for students and professional in developing countries) and in the United States are tax-deductible in support of ILE, a tax-exempt research organization under 501(c)3. Annual dues defray the cost of

  • hosting and maintaining the ILE website for TALE Announcements,
  • maintaining the Telling TALE  forensic linguistics blog,
  • publishing and editing the journal,
  • providing support for ILE research projects and research associates, including
  • mini-grants and access to research tools for research associates in developing countries.

We invite you to join TALE and support the development of forensic linguistics into a truly mature forensic science.