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The TRUST Untruthfulness Framework in Forensic Contexts

Issue: Vol 12 No. 2-3 (2016) Special Issue: Appliable Linguistics and Legal Discourse

Journal: Linguistics and the Human Sciences

Subject Areas: Writing and Composition Linguistics

DOI: 10.1558/lhs.36988


This article introduces a comprehensive linguistic-ethical framework for analysing untruthfulness in situated discourse, as developed in much more depth in Heffer (in press). The TRUST (Trust-Related Untruthfulness in Situated Text) framework extends the analysis of insincerity beyond lying to misleading and withholding. More radically, it extends our conception of untruthfulness to include not only insincerity but also epistemic irresponsibility, or not taking care in establishing and conveying the evidence. The TRUST heuristic then provides a practical procedure for analysing putative cases of untruthfulness in situated discourse. This heuristic is then applied to two cases of putative untruthfulness in the legal process: the Bronston perjury case in the US and the Iraq Inquiry in the UK.

Author: Chris Heffer

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