Dr Nicci MacLeod is available for forensic linguistic consultancy and casework in the areas of authorship analysis, sociolinguistic profiling, forensic discourse analysis, and ascertaining meaning in forensic contexts.  

Dr MacLeod completed her PhD in 2010 at Aston University on the topic of the language of police interviews with women reporting rape. She holds an MA (Distinction) in Forensic Linguistics from Cardiff University, where she was also awarded the Dell Hymes Commendation for Sociolinguistics.  She is a member of the International Association of Forensic Linguists (IAFL), the British Association for Applied Linguistics (BAAL), and the  International Investigative Interviewing Research Group (iIIRG), and a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). She is also registered on the National Crime Agency’s Specialist Operations Expert Advisers Database.

Dr MacLeod has provided expert forensic linguistic reports to several police forces, including the Serious Organised Crime Agency, and to the Independent Police Complaints Commission, as well as to solicitors and private clients in criminal and civil cases. She has appeared as an expert witness in the Crown Court of England & Wales and both the Sheriff Court and the High Court of Justiciary in Scotland.

  1. Wright, D. and MacLeod, N. (under contract) Forensic Linguistics Online. Abingdon: Routledge.

  2. MacLeod, N. (2021) Art vs. craft: Expert evidence in the England and Wales Criminal Justice System. Language & Law/ Linguagem e Direito 8:1. https://ojs.letras.up.pt/index.php/LLLD/article/view/10952

  3. MacLeod, N. (2021) Assuming identities online: Authorship synthesis in undercover investigations. In M. Coulthard, A. May, and R. Sousa Silva (eds) The Routledge Handbook of Forensic Linguistics, 2nd edition. Abingdon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-Forensic-Linguistics/Coulthard-May-Sousa-Silva/p/book/9780367137847

  4. MacLeod, N. and Grant, T. (2021) Assuming identities online: How linguistics is helping the policing of online grooming and the distribution of abusive images. In T. Owen and and J. Marshall (eds) Rethinking Cybercrime: Critical Debates. Basingstoke: Palgrave. https://link.springer.com/book/10.1007/978-3-030-55841-3

MacLeod. N. (2020) ‘Tell me in your own words…’ reconciling institutional salience and witness- compatible language in police interviews with women reporting rape. In M. Mason and F. Rock (eds) The Discourse of Police Investigation. Chicago: Chicago University Press. https://www.press.uchicago.edu/ucp/books/book/chicago/D/bo41210416.html

MacLeod, N. & Wright, D. (2020) Forensic Linguistics. In S. Adolphs and D. Knight (eds) The Routledge Handbook of English Language and the Digital Humanities. Abingdon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/The-Routledge-Handbook-of-English-Language-and-Digital-Humanities-1st/Adolphs-Knight/p/book/9781138901766

Grant, T. and MacLeod, N. (2020) Language and Online Identities: The Undercover Policing of Internet Sexual Crime. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. https://www.cambridge.org/core/books/language-and-online-identities/84BA8948F6D3AF5EB6B77D7B24962D9D

Grant, T. and MacLeod, N. (2020) Recursos e Restrições na Manutenção de Identidades Linguísticas: uma Teoria de Autoria. In D.C. de Almeida, M. Coulthard and R. Sousa-Silva (eds) Perspectivas em Linguística Forense.  Sao Paulo: Universidade Estadual de Campinas, pp. 76-94.

MacLeod, N. (2020) The discourse of (re)exploitation.: female victims in the legal system. To appear in Caldas-Coulthard, C.R. (ed.) Innovations and Challenges in Language and Gender: Women and Sexism. Abingdon: Routledge. https://www.routledge.com/Innovations-and-Challenges-Women-Language-and-Sexism-1st-Edition/Caldas-Coulthard/p/book/9780367133719

Grant, T. and MacLeod, N. (2018) Resources and constraints in linguistic identity performance – a theory of authorship. Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito, 5:1.

MacLeod, N. and Grant, T. (2017) ‘go on cam but dnt be dirty’: linguistic levels of identity assumption in undercover online operations against child sex abusers. 
Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito 4:2, 157-175. 

MacLeod, N. (2017) Review: Discursive Constructions of Consent in the Legal Process. S. Ehrlich, D. Eades and J. Ainsworth (eds). Language and Law/ Linguagem e Direito 4:2, 176-180. 

MacLeod, N. and Grant, T. (2016) “You have ruined this entire experiment…shall we stop talking now?” Orientations to being recorded as an interactional resource. Discourse, Context & Media 14, pp. 63-70. 

MacLeod, N. (2016) “I thought I’d be safe there”: Pre-empting blame in the talk of women reporting rape. Journal of Pragmatics 96, 96-109.                

Grant, T. & MacLeod, N. (2016) Assuming identities online: Linguistics applied to the policing of online paedophile activity. Applied Linguistics 37(1), 50-70. 

MacLeod, N. & Haworth, K. (2016) Developing a linguistically informed approach to police interviewing. In R. Lawson & D. Sayers (eds)  Sociolinguistic Research: Application and Impact. Abingdon: Routledge.  https://www.routledge.com/products/9780415748520

Dando, C., Geiselman, E., MacLeod, N., & Griffiths, A. (2015) Interviewing adult witnesses, including vulnerable witnesses. In G. Oxburgh, T. Myklebust, T. Grant and B. Milne (eds) Communication in Forensic Contexts: Integrated Approaches from Psychology, Linguistics and Law Enforcement. Chichester: Wiley, pp. 79-106. http://eu.wiley.com/WileyCDA/WileyTitle/productCd-1118769236.html

MacLeod, N. (2013) Forensic Linguistics. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

MacLeod, N. (2013) Solan, Lawrence M. In C.A. Chapelle (ed.) The Blackwell Encyclopedia of Applied Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.

MacLeod, N. & Grant, T. (2012) Whose tweet?: authorship analysis of micro-blogs and other short form messages. Electronic Proceedings of the International Association of Forensic Linguists’ 10th Biennial Conference, Aston University, Birmingham, UK, July 2011. www.linguisticaforense.ufsc.br/tiki-index.php?page=IAFL+2011

MacLeod, N., & Fennell, B. (2012) Lexico-grammatical portraits of vulnerable women in war: the 1641 Depositions. Journal of Historical Pragmatics  13 (2).

MacLeod, N. (2012) Rogues, villaines & base trulls: Constructing the other in the 1641 Depositions. In E. Darcy, A. Margey & E. Murphy (eds) The 1641 Depositions and the Irish Rebellion London: Pickering & Chatto,  pp. 113-128.

Tomblin, S., MacLeod, N., Sousa Silva, R. & Coulthard, M. (eds) (2012)  Proceedings of The International Association of Forensic Linguists’ 10th Biennial Conference www.linguisticaforense.ufsc.br/tiki-index.php?page=IAFL+2011

MacLeod, N. (2011). Risks and benefits of selective (re)presentation of interviewees’ talk: Some insights from discourse analysis. British Journal of Forensic Practice 13 (2), 95 - 102.www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/pdfplus/10.1108/14636641111134332 

MacLeod,N. (2009) ‘Well did you feel jealous?’ Control & ideology in police interviews with rape complainants. Critical Approaches to Discourse Analysis Across Disciplines 3 (1), 46 – 57. http://eprints.aston.ac.uk/15225

Dr Nicci MacLeod,Forensic Linguist


GDip Law, University of Law

PhD Forensic Linguistics, Aston University

MA (Distinction) Forensic Linguistics, Cardiff University

BA(Hons) English Language, Bangor University