Language Analysis for the Determination of Origin (LADO) is a relatively recent linguistic process in which the use of language tests are conducted to help in the determination of whether or not to accept an asylum seeker’s claims of their origins (Eades 2009). Through the use of LADO, asylum seekers may be granted asylum in countries such as Australia, Belgium, Switzerland, and Germany among others. However, the use of LADO can be seen as an exercise of power through language; its method to determine language origin, the asymmetry in power present in the interview and ultimately the decision to grant asylum based on a linguistic test are the predominant ways in which LADO can be seen as an exercise of power through language.
The Method of LADO
The method of LADO involves an asylum seeker and an immigration officer, where an interview is carried out for the purpose of language analysis. Language analysis is carried out when a decision maker in an immigration department believes that the asylum seeker is being untruthful about his/her national origin (Eades, 2005). Trained linguists, as well as native speakers then analyze the interview. Through the use of linguistic techniques analysts determine the nationality of the speaker based solely on the linguistic features present within the tape recording. The determination of origin may then lead to either granting the asylum seeker in question protection.
The process of LADO shows to an extent how linguistic techniques and understandings can determine the origin of speakers, as the way in which someone speaks contains clues about their origins (Eades, 2005). Although many countries have adopted the use of LADO for immigration related cases, there is a growing concern about the overgeneralization and assumptions involved in the linguistic identification of asylum seekers (Eades, 2005).
An Exercise of Power Through Language - The Interview for LADO
The interview conducted for LADO can be seen as an exercise of...