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Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases

Patrick, PL (2004) 'Guidelines for the use of language analysis in relation to questions of national origin in refugee cases.' International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, 11 (2). pp. 261-266. ISSN 1748-8885

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Language analysis is used by a number of governments around the world as part of the process of determining whether asylum seekers? cases are genuine. Such analysis usually involves consideration of a recording of the asylum seeker?s speech in order to judge their country of origin. Use of language analysis has been criticized on a number of grounds, and some uncertainty has arisen as to its validity. This paper responds to calls for qualified linguists to provide guidelines for use by governments and others in deciding whether and to what degree language analysis is reliable in particular cases. We, the undersigned linguists, recognize that there is often a connection between the way that people speak and their national origin. We also recognize the difficulties faced by governments in deciding eligibility for refugee status of increasing numbers of asylum seekers who arrive without documents. The following guidelines are therefore intended to assist governments in assessing the general validity of language analysis in the determination of national origin, nationality or citizenship. We have attempted to avoid linguistic terminology. Where technical terms are required, they are explained (e.g. ?socialization? in Guideline 2, and ?codewitching? in Guideline 9c). The term ?language variety? which is used in several guidelines, refers generally to a language or a dialect.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Divisions: Faculty of Social Sciences
Faculty of Social Sciences > Language and Linguistics, Department of
SWORD Depositor: Elements
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 04 Jun 2015 14:44
Last Modified: 06 Jan 2022 13:36

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