Slander and libel cases are largely about how one party uses language in ways that are claimed to defame one another. Linguistic expertise can be central to the case. In The Language of Defamation Cases, Roger W. Shuy describes eleven representative lawsuits-involving newspapers, television stations, religious leaders, physicians, teachers, entertainers, unions, insurance companies, and manufacturers-for which he served as a consultant. Shuy's linguistic analysis illustrates how grammatical referencing, speech acts, discourse structure, framing, conveyed meaning, intentionality, and malicious language affected the outcome of these cases. The Language of Defamation Cases shows how linguistics can be used to help resolve libel and slander cases. It will appeal to students and scholars of applied linguistics and forensic linguistics.
Roger Shuy is Professor Emeritus of Linguistics, Georgetown University. He is the author of Creating Language Crimes, Linguistics in the Coutroom, and Fighting Over Words.