The trial is relatively unknown and unstudied as a basic linguistic event of judicial activity. However, in order to reconstruct the event and to compare it with the norms of the legal system, the judge must know how to read and interpret a myriad of discourses of every type, origin, and purpose. When making a ruling, the judge has to synthesize this wide range of information and compare it with the words of the legislator.
Despite the lack of attention given to it in the training of government and professional members of the legal system, knowing how to confront this complex linguistic itinerary with explicit knowledge is necessary for the proper exercise of jurisdictional duties. Wiretaps, interrogations, debates, and court rulings are, above all, matters of language (spoken, written, intercepted, or transcribed) and of communicative interaction that this book aspires to analyze from a linguistic perspective for the benefit of all men and women of the law and for whoever else has interest.
After years of research into judicial activity, Patrizia Bellucci expounds and evaluates - with instruments unique to the field of linguistics - all phases of a recently held homicide trial, from the investigative stage to the gathering and presenting of evidence to the wording of the sentence. The methodological prospective is that of interpretive sociolinguistics, which sees a relationship between language and society and assumes that their interaction, even in legal contexts, is co-constructed by all participants.
Patrizia Bellucci teaches Sociolinguistics at the University of Florence and directs the forensic linguistics laboratory (the Laboratorio di Linguistica Guidiziaria, or LALIGI) in the same university's Linguistics Department. She has published numerous essays in the related but distinct fields of sociolinguistics, dialectology, and linguistic education. The common thread of her writing is an unremitting concern for the social and political applications of her research
Note: At present Patrizia Bellucci's A onor del vero. Fondamenti di linguistica giudiziaria is available only in its original Italian version.