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Identification of the Class Characteristics in the Handwriting of Polish People Writing in English

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An investigation was carried out to identify the class characteristics of Polish people writing in English and to specifically identify those characteristics that separate Polish handwriting from English handwriting. In the first stage, 40 Polish and 40 English handwriting samples were collected and systematically examined. In total, 31 features were identified that occurred in ≥25% of the Polish handwriting samples and therefore considered class characteristics. Of these, chi-square analyses identified 21 class characteristics that occurred significantly more in Polish compared to English handwriting. Twenty-one of the class characteristics in the Polish handwriting had similar constructions to the copybook pattern thus supporting the theory that class characteristics frequently stem from the taught writing system. In the second stage, an algorithm was developed using seventeen of the class characteristics that successfully discriminated between a further 13 Polish and 12 English handwriting samples.

Keywords: English handwriting; Polish handwriting; class characteristics; forensic science; handwriting identification; questioned documents

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: School of Forensic and Investigative Sciences, University of Central Lancashire, Preston PR1 2HE, U.K.

Publication date: 2010-09-01

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