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VINE VOICEon 1 January 2010
Being immersed in a study of Applied Linguistics at Masters Level I needed a good introduction to support my half-module on courtroom discourse. What I found in Coulthard & Johnson's book was a richly layered introduction. It opens up and explains the many levels of this still enigmatic discipline. 'Calls to emergency services', 'police interviews', 'infamous murder cases' and good old fashioned 'plagiarism' are among those covered in the 230 odd pages. I was particularly interested in the chapter on authorship identification and the quantitative methods used to achieve this. But more importantly, the book provides a rich resource for any student seeking to conduct a literature review. This is not a coffee table book, no 'light read', but the vocabulary and general lexis, which are quite technical, never completely leave the lay reader behind. If you are interested in the science of the written and spoken word and what clues we unwittingly leave behind, then you will not be disappointed. If you are a higher level student of English linguistics, it will prove an invaluable guide and reference work.
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