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Idiolect (in ancient Greek ἴδιος ídios , German 'peculiar, peculiar' ; occasionally also: ideolect ) denotes the individual language of an individual. This includes, for example, his vocabulary , his speech behavior, his expression and his pronunciation . The idiolect is a linguistic variety at the level of the individual speaker. The term is also used to describe the peculiarities on the basis of which one can distinguish the language of different speakers in a language community.

One of the methods of sociolinguistics consists in analyzing idiolects of members of a precisely defined language community and inferring common characteristics of a sociolect from this. This is done, among other things, through idiolectical conversations with native speakers.

Idiolect analysis is also a central method in forensic linguistics . By examining the linguistic characteristics of texts, the group of perpetrators (e.g. the writer of threatening letters) can be narrowed down considerably. Some forensic linguists warn against the expectation that a “linguistic fingerprint” will be able to clearly prove that suspects have committed a crime. According to Raimund Drommel, the "pioneer of linguistic criminalistics", however, in many cases the linguistic evidence was sufficient to initiate criminal proceedings against suspects.

Web links

Wiktionary: Idiolekt  - explanations of meanings, word origins, synonyms, translations

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Sandra Hansen: As a linguist on the hunt for criminals. Forensic linguistics at the Federal Criminal Police Office . scienzz magazine . August 15, 2006.
  2. Andin Tegen: Profiler Raimund Drommel: The language of the crime on the trail . The time . Edition 4/2011.