Edited Book Project

Following the launch of our Special Interest Group Crime at PALA in Kent in 2015 and three follow-up panels at PALA conferences in Cagliari (2016), West Chester (2017), Birmingham (2018) and Liverpool (2019), we will publish an edited book “The Linguistics of Crime” with Cambridge University Press.

The book contains selected papers from these panels amongst others and is intended to contribute to the interdisciplinary study of crime by taking a predominantly but not exclusively linguistic/stylistic perspective. We not only wish to demonstrate what linguistics has to offer for the study of crime but also how criminology and media studies can benefit from linguistic research.

Our contributors analyse crime-related discourse ranging from crime fiction narratives, personal crime narratives or court proceedings to newspaper reports on crime or real crime TV formats and beyond. The edited volume presents the work of well-established scholars alongside early-career academics united by their shared  interest in crime.

A note on the Editors

Ulrike Tabbert (ulritab@googlemail.com) is a Senior Public Prosecutor (Oberamtsanwältin) at a German prosecution office as well as a Visiting Research Fellow at the University of Huddersfield. She holds a PhD in Linguistics from Huddersfield and is the author of ‘Crime and Corpus: The linguistic representation of crime in the press’ (John Benjamins, 2015) and ‘Language and Crime: Constructing offenders and victims in newspaper reports’ (Palgrave Maxmillan, 2016) amongst other publications.

John Douthwaite has a long-standing career as Professor of English Language and taught at several universities including Udine, Turin, Cagliari and at Scuola di Applicazione (the Italian Army Officer Training School) in Turin. He is currently Professor of English Language, Head of English Language at the Department of Foreign Languages and Head of Postgraduate Teacher Training Course in Foreign Languages, Literatures and Cultures at the University of Genoa, Italy. In addition, he holds a BA (Hons) in Sociology from the University of Reading, UK. From his vast number of publications, these are the most relevant to the this project:

Douthwaite, J. (2000). Towards a linguistic theory of foregrounding. Alessandria, Edizioni dell’Orso.

Douthwaite, J. (2002). Detective stories. (2nd ed.). Genoa, Cideb.

Douthwaite, J. (2007). Ideology, language and gender identity in a detective story. In Fairclough, N. et al. (Eds.). Discourse and contemporary social change. pp. 331-354. Bern, Peter Lang.

Douthwaite, J. (2007). Using speech and thought presentation to validate hypotheses regarding the nature of the crime novels of Andrea Camilleri. In Hoover D. and Lettig S. (Eds.) Stylistics: Prospect and retrospect. pp. 143-167. Amsterdam, Rodopi.

Douthwaite, J. and Wales, K. (2010). Introduction to the issue ‘Stylistics and Co. (unlimited) – The range, methods and applications of Stylistics’. Editorship of Textus: English Studies in Italy. XXIII(1).

Douthwaite J. (2011). Conceptual metaphor and communication: An Austinian and Gricean analysis of Brian Clark’s Whose Life Is It Anyway? In Fludernik, M. (Ed.) Beyond cognitive metaphor theory: Perspectives on literary metaphor. pp. 137-157. London, Routledge.

A note on the Assistant Editor

Ilse A. Ras (i.a.ras@live.nl) has completed a PhD in English Language, examining representations of corporate fraud, at the University of Leeds in 2017 and an MSc in Criminology at the University of Leicester in 2013. She has taught introductory criminology at Leeds Beckett University and stylistics at Kingston University, and has recently completed work as a research assistant on a project examining media representations of human trafficking. Forthcoming publications include:

Ras, I.A. (Forthcoming). “Techniques of Neutralisation in Corporate Fraud News”. Capitalism, Crime and Media in the 21st Eds. N. Ewen, A. Grattan, M. Leaning, and P. Manning. London: Palgrave.

Ras, I.A. (Forthcoming, in this book) “Condemning the condemners: The construction of regulators and investigators in UK news about corporate crime between 2004 and 2014”. The Linguistics of Crime. Eds. U. Tabbert and J. Douthwaite. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Contributors to the book are (in alphabetical order):

Judge Marco Canepa, Italy

Christiana Gregoriou, University of Leeds, UK

Monika Fludernik, University of Freiburg, Germany

Mahmood K. Ibrahim, Independent Scholar

Zóltan Kövecses, Eötvös Loránd University, Hungary

Andrea Mayr, Zayed University Abu Dhabi, UAE

Douglas Mark Ponton, University of Catania, Italy

Simon Statham, Queen’s University Belfast, UK

M’Balia Thomas, University of Kansas, USA

Simon Zupan, University of Maribor, Slovenia