Clive Forrester

Continuing Lecturer

Photo of Clive Forrester.
PhD. Applied Linguistics - University of the West Indies, Mona
B.A. Linguistics - University of the West Indies, Mona

Extension: 45905
Office: HH141



I’ve always had an interest in language and literature but actually wanted a career in law, which lead me to apply to the faculty of law at UWI, Mona for my undergraduate degree. It turns out I wasn’t successful and instead ended up in linguistics. My initial thoughts were to jump ship after that first year and re-apply to law but the discipline grew on me and I ended up sticking with it all the way to the graduate level. It was in my first year of graduate studies that I discovered the emerging branch of linguistics called “forensic linguistics” which combined aspects of the law with linguistic theory. Ultimately, I ended up investigating how judges in Jamaican courtrooms interpret and translate the speech of witnesses who spoke Jamaican Creole for my PhD dissertation. I made my way to Canada in 2008 where I launched two courses on Jamaican Creole at York University and have also taught academic writing at Seneca and Sheridan colleges since then. I have a passion for writing and strive to ensure that my students express their ideas, both personal and critical, in their various forms of writing in my courses. 

Selected Publications

Forrester, C. (2014). “Converting Time Reference in Judge’s Summations: A Study in Time Reference Management in a Creole Continuum Courtroom.” International Journal of Speech, Language and the Law. Vol. 21.2, 225-250. 

Forrester, C. (2013). “Ethics, Conscience and Just Desert: The Linguistic Performance of Sentencing in the Jamaican Courtroom.” In C. Brown Blake and D. Walicek (eds.) Sargasso: Language Rights and Language Policy in the Caribbean, Vol. II. 

Forrester, C. (2007). “Ethical Issues of Negotiation: An Exploratory Study of Code-Switching, Deception, and Negotiation Tactics in the Jamaican Context” in N. Cowell et. al. (eds.) Ethical Perspectives for Caribbean Business. Kingston, Jamaica: Arawak Publications. 

Current Research

My research interests include courtroom discourse analysis, Creole linguistics, the relationship between language, gender and sex, and language advocacy/policy. My most recent conference presentation at the Society for Caribbean Linguistics 21st biennial conference, looked at language issues encountered by Jamaican Creole speaking witnesses in Ontario courtrooms and how linguistic analysis can be used to resolve and/or clarify some of these issues. I’m also in the process of completing an exploratory study on Caribbean perceptions of hate speech. 

Graduate supervision/examination

  • Discourse analysis
  • Language and gender
  • Language in advertising
  • Language and the law/forensic linguistics
  • Creole Linguistics and Caribbean language