LINGUA – Specialized unit for analyses of origin in Switzerland

Aim and starting point for LINGUA

1) LINGUA was founded in May 1997 as a specialized unit within the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM; known up until 2004 as the Federal Office for Refugees). Its task is to carry out analyses of origin for people seeking asylum and for other foreigners. These analyses of origin become necessary when the asylum seeker or foreign national (referred to from now on as the subject) cannot produce any valid identification documents and, in addition to this, there are doubts about that subject's allegations concerning his/her region of origin. It is the aim of the analysis of origin to determine the country and/or region or, at least, the milieu, which have had the biggest influence on the subject in his/her process of socialization. It is for this purpose that the subject's speech as well as his/her cultural knowledge of the region concerned are examined. In order to carry out these analyses of origin, LINGUA works with external experts. These experts analyse a conversation carried out with the subject (see below) and produce a report with the results of this analysis.

1) This article is based on MEYER Liliane: "Sprachanalysen zur Herkunftsbestimmung im Asyl- und Ausländerbereich. Ein Neues Gebiet der forensischen Linguistik". Kriminalistik. Unabhängige Zeitschrift für die kriminalistische Wissenschaft und Praxis. Heidelberg, 2006, 11 pp. 708-712.

Last modification 14.02.2010

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