That is a very broad question, I understand. I am working in a project where my aim is to detect linguistic features of deception as a person is speaking or writing. Some work has been done for written text (e.g. this paper by Myle Ott, et al), but I have not found anything that provides theoretical insight into the development of the constructs. For example, when an average person lies, does s/he tend to backtrack more often (i.e. say something like "I went there yesterday to ... umm ... no, I think it was the day before")?

I am from a computer science background, working in natural language processing. Any pointers to linguistic theories will be extremely helpful, and will allow me to connect statistical observations from my experiments to these theories.

  • Very little reliable information. For starts, many of the cues to lying are visual (pupil contraction, gaze aversion, intonation, expression, gestures, ...) and they don't show up in writing. For another thing, people learn to write at different times and in different ways and to different degrees of ability, and there are no evolved responses to writing like there are to speech. So if you want to develop it, you're going to have to do, or more likely sponsor, the research to develop it yourself, and that's not going to be simple, or cheap.
    – jlawler
    Feb 24, 2014 at 0:13
  • 2
    See "Detection of deception" pp. 129-133 and also pp. 133-136 in Olsson and Luchjenbroers 2014 as something to start with bloomsbury.com/us/forensic-linguistics-9781441170767 (Google Books preview available, too).
    – Alex B.
    Feb 24, 2014 at 0:17
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    Also Arciuli, Mallard, and Villar 2010 dx.doi.org/10.1017/S0142716410000044
    – Alex B.
    Feb 24, 2014 at 0:25


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