Malcolm Coulthard

Source of the picture:


  • Language and Context

Research Interests

  • Forensic Linguistics
  • Language and the Law
  • Critical Discourse Analysis
  • The Analysis of Written and Spoken Discourse



Coulthard studied English Language and Literature in Sheffield and then trained to be an English teacher in the London Institute of Education. There he became interested in the work of Basil Bernstein on the relationship between class, language ability and educational achievement.

He trained as a linguist at University College London under Michael Halliday and then untertook doctoral research with John Sinclair.

He is the first professor of Forensic Linguistics in the world.

Contribution to Linguistics

Best known for his work on the analysis of spoken and written discourse, Coulthard became increasingly involved with forensic applications of linguistics.

He is the Foundation President of the International Association of Forensic Linguists and the founding editor of the journal Forensic Linguistics, the International Journal of Speech Language and the Law.

Central Knowledge

Malcolm Coulthard acted as an expert witness in forensic linguistics and was commissioned to prepare reports for both Prosecution and Defence in over 180 civil and criminal cases.

Main Publications

  • Towards an Analysis of Discourse, with J. McH. Sinclair, O.U.P. 1975.

  • An Introduction to Discourse Analysis, Longman 1977.

  • Discourse Intonation and Language Teaching, with D.C. Brazil and C.M. Johns, Longman, 1980.

  • Advances in Spoken Discourse Analysis, (ed) Routledge, 1992.

  • Advances in Written Text Analysis, (ed) Routledge, 1994.

Categories: People