Joseph J. Devney, MA


I am a trained linguist, and a professional writer, ready to do linguistic analysis for you. My focus is on language and law, but I can do other sorts of analyses. I have delivered presentations to professional and lay audiences in the US and overseas, including continuing education classes for California lawyers.

Example Projects:

Analyzed a police interview. Did it support the prosecution’s claims? Can the witness’s statements be taken at face value?

Conducted historical linguistics research to determine usage of a particular term over time, for use in a lawsuit against the US government.
Created training material for artificial intelligence and natural language processing software.

Analyzed technical documents to determine whether they could be understood easily by the intended audience.

Services available:

Joseph Devney has a wide-ranging interest in language and linguistics, and provides multiple services related to words and language.


Applies linguistic expertise to real-world problems in business and the legal field.

Go to my Linguistic Consulting site.

Go to my Linguistics blog, Linguistics for the Real World .

Writing and Editing:

Professional nonfiction writer, specializing in technical writing in the high-tech field. Go to my Technical Writing site.

Trained developmental editor and copyeditor. Skilled at improving the written work of non-native English speakers.

Go to my Academic Editing site.


Master of Arts in Linguistics with a Concentration in Language and Communication. Georgetown University, Washington, D.C., 2008.

Certificate in Forensic Linguistics. Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. 2008. “Forensic Linguistics: Applications.” Linguistic analysis of ransom notes, stalker letters, a veiled extortion threat, and other criminally oriented communications.

Certificate in Forensic Linguistics. Hofstra University, Hempstead, NY. 2014. “Discourse Analysis in Law Case Evidence.” Discourse analysis of warning labels, recorded conversations in criminal cases, trademark disputes, and other civil and criminal contexts. Bachelor of Arts in Humanities, Minor in Communication Arts. Magna cum laude. Holy Names University, Oakland, CA. 1993. The core of the major was English, Philosophy, and History; minor included Graphic Arts, Public Speaking, and other Communications courses. An overarching theme at Holy Names is an emphasis on writing skills.

2009 Linguistic Institute: Language Structure and Language Ecologies. Sponsored by the Linguistic Society of America and the Department of Linguistics, University of California, Berkeley. Classes: Computational methods in linguistic reconstruction, Language contact and language change, Gesture and language, Narrative and viewpoint.

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