In the case of a suicide note being left behind the linguist has several issues to consider. Most importantly, why the deceased may have committed suicide. Normally it has little relevance to the linguist why a person commits a crime or does something but knowing the reasons why will help distinguish genuine from simulated and it is almost always the first question relatives ask. In order to discover why, it is useful to know what friends and family feel after initial grief. Common views are that the person was crazy, a coward or a loser. This popular view of suicide helps the linguist to an extent as a fake suicide note is more likely to reflect popular attitudes instead of how the person actually feels.
One of the main approaches to the methodology of authorship attribution is the Unitary Invariant Approach which was pioneered by Mendenhall (1887) who sought to distinguis...
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H Baayen, H van Halteren, and F Tweedie
Outside the cave of shadows: using syntactic annotation to enhance authorship attribution
Lit Linguist Computing 1996 11: 121-132.
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