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David Wright Web

David Wright

Associate Professor

School of Arts & Humanities

Staff Group(s)
English, Culture and Media


David Wright is a forensic linguist and Associate Professor in Linguistics at NTU. He works in the English, Philosophy and Linguistics department in the School of Arts and Humanities.

He is a member of the School's Centre for the Study of Inequality, Culture and Difference and his research sits mainly within NTU's Safety and Security of Citizens and Society strategic theme for which he sits on the steering group. His research applies methods of corpus linguistics and discourse analysis in forensic and legal contexts and aims to help improve the delivery of justice using language analysis. His research spans across a range of intersections between language and the law and justice, language in crime and evidence, and discourses of abuse, harassment and discrimination. He regularly publishes in international journals and presents at international conferences.

David is a member of the Executive Committee of the International Association for Forensic and Legal Linguistics (IAFLL) and BAAL's Corpus Linguistics Special Interest Group. He is regularly invited to peer-review for academic publishers and international journals and has given invited talks in Austria, Chile, Iraq, Spain, Switzerland and throughout the UK.

He teaches on a range of undergraduate Linguistics modules and supervises postgraduate research students. He leads and teaches on modules at all levels of the Linguistics degree:

  • LING101 Introduction to Language and Linguistics
  • LING102 Language in Context
  • LING207 Applying Methods in Linguistics
  • LING215 Discourse Analysis
  • LING310 Forensic Linguistics
  • LING391 Linguistics Dissertation.

He also supervises dissertations in MA Linguistics (by research) and PhD students. He is happy to receive postgraduate applications and proposals for MA and PhD in any area of forensic linguistics, corpus linguistics, or discourse analysis.

Career overview

Dr Wright joined Nottingham Trent University as a lecturer in linguistics in September 2014, having completed his BA, MA and PhD at the University of Leeds.

During his time at NTU, his teaching has been recognised by a number of awards and nominations:

  • 2019-20  Won NTSU award for Outstanding Teaching in Arts and Humanities
  • 2018-19  Shortlisted for NTSU award for Outstanding Teaching in Arts and Humanities
  • 2016-17  Won NTU Vice-Chancellor’s Teaching Award
  • 2016-17  Won NTU Vice-Chancellor’s Outstanding Teacher Award
  • 2015-16  Shortlisted for NTSU award for Outstanding Teaching in Arts and Humanities.

In addition to his research and teaching responsibilities, David was Year 1 Course Tutor for Joint Honours Humanities between 2018 and 2021.

For the 2021-22 academic year, David was one of 12 NTU researchers selected for the first year of the NTU Vice-Chancellor's Future Research Leader's Programme.

Research areas

Dr Wright’s current work and research projects span across a range of areas in forensic linguistics, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis, including research in:

  • Corpus approaches to discourse in legal contexts
  • Cross-examination of vulnerable and intimidated witnesses
  • Courtroom discourse and the language of advocacy
  • Procedures of voice identification evidence
  • Discourses of responsibility in COVID-19 communication
  • Transcription of covert recordings for forensic purposes
  • Idiolect and linguistic individuality
  • Street Harassment of Children
  • Incitement of Violence Against Women Online
  • Representations of migrants in the British national press

Collaborators and co-authors

  • Professor Lucy Betts (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Professor Natalie Braber (Nottingham Trent University)
  • Dr Gavin Brookes (Lancaster University, UK)
  • Dr Tara Coltman-Patel (Lancaster University, UK)
  • Professor Malcolm Coulthard (Emeritus Professor, Aston University, UK)
  • Professor Josh P Davis  (University of Greenwich, UK)
  • Professor Jonathan Doak (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Roser Giménez (Universitat de Barcelona, Spain)
  • Rachel Harding (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Lauren Harrington (University of York, UK)
  • Professor John Jackson (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Charlotte Kennedy (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Robbie Love (Aston University, UK)
  • Dr Nicci MacLeod (Northumbria University, UK)
  • Dr Alison May (University of Leeds, UK)
  • Dr Kirsty McDougall (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Helen Murray-Edwards (De Montfort University, UK)
  • Dr Katrin Mueller-Johnson (University of Oxford, UK)
  • Professor Francis Nolan (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Dr Ikechukwu Ekene Onyenwe (Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Nigeria)
  • Alice Paver (University of Cambridge, UK)
  • Dr Nikolas Pautz (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Sheine Peart (Bishop Grosseteste University, UK)
  • Dr Sheila Queralt (Laboratorio SQ-Lingüistas Forenses, Barcelona, Spain)
  • Jeremy Robson (De Montfort University, UK & Tribunal Judge, Social Entitlement Chamber)
  • Dr Jens Roser (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Candida Saunders (University of Nottingham, UK)
  • Catarina Sjolin (Judge at Lincoln Crown Court, UK)
  • Dr Harriet Smith (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Paula Stacey (Nottingham Trent University, UK)
  • Dr Jamie Williams (Nottingham Trent University, UK)

External activity

External examining

David has acted as External Examiner of PhD theses in forensic linguistics, corpus linguistics and discourse analysis. Between 2016 and 2020 he was External Examiner for the BA English Language and Linguistics programme at Oxford Brookes University.

Editorial positions

  • 2022–present  Advisory board member for Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis across Disciplines (CADAAD journal)
  • 2022–present Editorial board member Journal of Indonesian Community for Forensic Linguistics
  • 2021–present  Associate Editor for Frontiers in Communication – Language Sciences 
  • 2021–present  Section Editor for Corpus Linguistics in The Elsevier Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics (3rd edn) (with Gavin Brookes)
  • 2016–present  Book reviews editor for Language and Law (Linguagem e Direito)
  • 2014–2016  Section Editor for Corpus Linguistics for Open Linguistics (De Gruyter)
  • 2013–2014  Editor of Leeds Working Papers in Linguistics and Phonetics


  • David has reviewed articles for the International Journal of Speech Language and the Law, International Journal of Corpus Linguistics, Journal of Pragmatics, Digital Scholarship in the Humanities,The International Journal of Evidence and Proof, Language and Law (Linguagem e Direito), Applied Linguistics and Professional Practice, Journal of Corpora and Discourse Studies, Critical Discourse Studies, Corpora, English Today, Language and Literature, and The Wiley Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics.
  • Reviewed book/series proposals or manuscripts for Bloomsbury, Cambridge University Press, Palgrave, Polity Press and Routledge.
  • Reviewed research grant applications for the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC), The British Academy and The Austrian Science Fund (FWF).
  • Reviewed conference abstracts for the International Association for Forensic and Legal Linguistics, British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), the Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL) and Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines (CADAAD).

Professional memberships

  • UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Early Career Researcher Forum
  • British Academy Early Career Researcher Network
  • International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL)
  • International Association of Applied Linguistics (AILA)
  • British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL)
  • Germanic Society for Forensic Linguistics (GSFL)
  • Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA)

Sponsors and collaborators


  • 2020-2023: Co-Investigator - Nuffield Foundation. ‘Mapping the Changing Face of Cross-Examination in Criminal Trials’ (£328,631).
  • 2019-2022: Co-Investigator - Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC). ‘Improving Voice Identification Procedures’ (IVIP) (£872,120).
  • 2017-18: Principal Investigator - BA/Leverhulme Small Research Grant. ‘The incitement of violent offences against women in online discussion forums’ (£9,721)
  • 2017-18: Co-Investigator - NTU Safety and Security Fund. ‘Methods of assessing the accuracy of accent judgements by lay listeners’. (£13,282).
  • 2017: £877 from ESRC to hold ‘Street Harassment of School Students: awareness and risk’ event as part of ESRC Festival of Social Science 2017(Co-applicant).
  • 2016: £1,500 from BAAL and Routledge Research Development Workshop fund to hold ‘Language and identity in Law and Evidence’ event at NTU.
  • 2016: £19,851 from NTU Health and Wellbeing Proof of Concept Fund for project entitled ‘TASC11to16' (Taking A Stand for Change for secondary school children aged eleven to sixteen years), an interdisciplinary project across linguistics, psychology, law, education and social work (Co-investigator).
  • 2011–2014: £51,966 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Doctoral Studentship.
  • 2010–2011: £12,956 Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC) Research Preparation Master’s Studentship.

Press expertise

David is able to offer comment on forensic linguistics; language of the law and legal process; language and crime, language and justice.

UN Sustainability Development Goals

The main UN Sustainable Development Goals which inform my work are

3 - Good Health and Well-Being Badge 10 - Reduced Inequalities Badge 16 - Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions Badge