P.O. Box 2173
Alameda, CA 94501 USA

Linguistic Consultant  
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These are presentations I have given in the past to different groups, including academic conferences. I can give them to your group or company. If you want a talk on a different topic or to fit a different time limitation, I may be able to develop one for you.

  • "A teenage mother in a police interview: did she implicate her own mother in her babyís death?" Discourse analysis of a police interview. This is a real-life case. My declaration was part of the legal presentation that got the grandmother released from prison after 11 years. (Paper presented to a conference of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.)
  • "Forensic Linguistics: Discourse Analysis." An explanation of the linguistic subdiscipline of discourse analysis, and how it can be of use in the justice system, using real-life examples. (1.5 hours MCLE credit for California.)
  • "Semantics and Pragmatics in a Florida Shooting." A linguistic analysis of a portion of a conversation between a police dispatcher and a man later charged with murder. (Paper presented to a conference of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.)
  • "Forensic Linguistics: Law and the Science of Language." Introduction for lawyers to the use of linguistics in civil and criminal cases. (1.5 hours MCLE credit for California.) Includes overviews of some of the subdisciplines of linguistics, and real-life examples of linguistics applied to evidence.
  • "Forensic Linguistics: Say What You Mean and Mean What You Say?" An explanation of the difference between semantic meaning and pragmatic meaning, using a particular incident from a U.S. election as a case study. For general audiences.
  • "Clarity in Death Penalty Jury Instructions: Ensuring Justice by Explaining the Law to Non-Lawyers." Analysis of a jury instruction used in death penalty cases in California, and how to make the information more comprehensible to the non-lawyers who make up the jury pool. (Paper presented to the conference of the International Association of Forensic Linguists.)
  • "Forensic Linguistics: Real-Life 'CSI' with Word People." An overview of the tools used for linguistic analysis of criminally oriented communication. The presentation is aimed at a non-specialist audience, and includes a lot of audience participation.
  • "Linguistic Analysis: Are You Cooperating with Your Readers?" A webinar originally sponsored by the Society for Technical Communication. An explanation of how the maxims of conversational cooperation, a tool used by linguists in pragmatics and discourse analysis, can be applied to analyze the effectiveness of technical writing.
  • "Clarity Above All: Writing to be Understood." An explanation for writers about techniques to improve comprehensibility.



Audience Responses
lForensic Linguistics: CSI. "Your presentation was an enlightening and entertaining glimpse at forensic linguistics. I particularly enjoyed playing the forensic investigator in your captivating audience participation activities." (Tonie Flores, VP Programs, Berkeley chapter, Society for Technical Communication)

"What an excellent presentation you gave!...You are an excellent speaker, clear, organized and good at getting the audience involved." (JK Mueller)

"Thank you so much for speaking to our group! I had quite a few people comment to me afterwards about how much they enjoyed it. The chapter meeting evaluation form reflects that:
Speaker Eval: 71% Outstanding, 28% Very good; Topic Eval: 79% Outstanding, 21% Very Good." (Jan Kruse, Program Manager, Phoenix chapter, Society for Technical Communication)

Forensic Linguistics: Law. Did this program meet your educational objectives? "This class exceeded my expectations. Mr. Devney made this subject very relevant to the law." (Anonymous comment on evaluation sheet.)

DId this program meet your educational objectives? "Excellent presentation! Well organized, and entertaining." (Anonymous comment on evaluation sheet.)