LINGUIST List 15.875

Sun Mar 14 2004

Calls: Forensic Ling/France; General Ling/UK

Editor for this issue: Marie Klopfenstein <>

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  1. valwagnerfr, International Conference: Clarity and Obscurity in Legal Language
  2. patrick.honeybone, Linguistics Association of Great Britain Annual Meeting 2004

Message 1: International Conference: Clarity and Obscurity in Legal Language

Date: Fri, 12 Mar 2004 14:49:03 -0500 (EST)
From: valwagnerfr <>
Subject: International Conference: Clarity and Obscurity in Legal Language

International Conference: Clarity and Obscurity in Legal Language 

Date: 05-Jul-2005 - 09-Jul-2005
Location: Boulogne sur Mer, France
Contact: Anne Wagner
Contact Email: 
Meeting URL: 

Linguistic Sub-field: Forensic Linguistics 
Subject Language: English 

Call Deadline: 01-Dec-2004

Meeting Description:

Thematic areas: Law, Plain Legal Languages, Semiotics, Applied
Linguistics, Discourse Analysis, Text/Corpus Linguistics,
Sociolinguistics, Language Teaching and Learning, Genre Analysis,
Conversation Analysis, Ethnolinguistics.


Clarity and Obscurity in Legal Language 

>From 05 July 2005 to 09 July 2005 
Boulogne-sur-Mer (France) : Universit� du Littoral C�te d'Opale.
Organised under the auspices of CERCLE, �quipe VolTer (Vocabulaire,
Lexique et Terminologie) and of LARJ (Laboratoire de Recherches
Juridiques) - Universit� du Littoral - C�te d'Opale in
collaboration with Clarity.

Organising committee

Co-Chairs :
Anne WAGNER , Ma�tre de Conf�rences, sp�cialit� : Langues et Droit 
Universit� du Littoral - C�te d'Opale
Prof. Joseph KIMBLE 
President and Membership Secretary of Clarity
Thomas M. Cooley Law School

Members :
Nicole Fernbach
Juricom, Inc. et Centre International de Lisibilit�, Inc.

Edward Caldwell
Statute Law Society and
Law Commission for England and Wales 

Olivier Carton
Membre du Laboratoire de Recherches Juridiques
Charg� d'enseignements
Universit� du Littoral - C�te d'Opale 

Conference secretariat : 

Catherine Wadoux et Monique Random
17, rue du Puits d'Amour
B.P. 751
62321 Boulogne-sur-Mer C�dex
Tel : 03-21-99-45-60
Fax : 03-21-99-45-61 

Conference Website :
Webmaster : Samuel Adam

Program Committee 

Co-chairs :
Anne WAGNER , Ma�tre de Conf�rences, sp�cialit� : Langues et
Droit. and Nicole Fernbach, jurilinguiste

Members : 

Ross Charnock, Universit� Paris 9 - Dauphine 
Jan Engberg, Aarhus School of Business 
Sophie Cacciaguidi, University of Galway 
Lawrence Solan, Brooklyn Law School 
Maurizio Gotti, University of Bergamo et cerlis 
Vijay K. Bhatia, City University of Hong Kong et GILD MMC 
Dani�le Bourcier, CNRS, Paris II 
Lionel Levert, Minist�re de la Justice du Canada 
Stefania Dragone-Birocchi, Commission Europ�enne (TBC) 
U.S. representative (TBC) 
Hillary Penfold, Australia (TBC) 
David Elliott, Private Practice (TBC) 
Christopher Balmford, Private Practice, cleardocs 

Key Words : 
Law, Legal language, Plain Language, Legal Translation, Legal Drafting
and Writing, Multilingualism and the Law, Common Law writing or
drafting vs Civil law writing or drafting, Simplification,
Readability, Access to the Law, Document Design, Computer-assisted

Length of presentations: 30 - 40 minutes. 


Legal language involves a complex mix of history, tradition, rules,
and forms. It derives from factors as diverse as convention, fear of
change, reliance on formbooks, habits acquired during legal training,
and notions (perhaps false notions) of prestige. Very often, the
resulting language is unclear and obscure not only to non-lawyers but
even to the legal community itself. Can anything be done about this ?
Should anything be done ?

This international conference will explore how the various linguistic
disciplines can help us understand the nature of legal language - both
oral and written - and how it might be improved and clarified. The
conference will present and examine the latest research and theories,
along with practical guidance on how to avoid obscurity. It will also
review international efforts and projects to make legal language more

Main topics of the conference 

Plenary sessions (English and French) 
* The quest for clarity in law : historical overview. Why the
complexity ? How to change it and make clarity mainstream. Overcoming
the obstacles to plain language.

* The clarity toolbox : best practices in legal writing and
drafting. How to clarify legal texts. The influence of
technology. Learning and teaching viewed by professionals in legal
writing and drafting.

* Plain language in a multidisciplinary context (Law, Linguistics,
Semiotics, Communications, Information Design).

* Plain language in the judicial context : speech acts in courts ;
court decisions and jury instructions ; social equality aspects.

* Common Law and Civil law : differences in their approach to clarity

Roundtables (English and French) 
* International development of the Plain Language network.

* History of the movement towards clarity in law, its scope,
theoretical aspects and practical achievements.

* Multilingual law and the search for clarity in translation and

Countries under review 

Europe : 
Finland, Sweden, Norway, United Kingdom, Italy, France, Belgium,
Spain, Germany, Austria, Switzerland.

Americas, Africa, Caribbean and Pacific : 
U.S.A, Canada , Australia , New Zealand , Mexico , China .


Abstract should be no longer than 400 words. They can include
references but should not contain a bibliography.

Abstracts should be sent in English even if the presentation is to be
in French. In case of any difficulty in translating into English,
please ask us for assistance.

Abstracts should contain : 
a - Title of the presentation
b - Name(s) of the author(s)
c - Affiliation of the author(s)
d - Both e-mail and postal addresses. 

Only abstracts meeting the above criteria will be considered. 

Abstracts should be sent by e-mail to Anne WAGNER
( ).

Call Deadline : December 2004

Official Acceptance : February 2005 
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Message 2: Linguistics Association of Great Britain Annual Meeting 2004

Date: Sat, 13 Mar 2004 16:04:10 -0500 (EST)
From: patrick.honeybone <>
Subject: Linguistics Association of Great Britain Annual Meeting 2004

Linguistics Association of Great Britain Annual Meeting 2004 
Short Title: LAGB 2004 

Date: 30-Aug-2004 - 02-Sep-2004
Location: University of Surrey Roehampton, London, United Kingdom
Contact: Judith Broadbent
Contact Email: 

Linguistic Sub-field: General Linguistics 

Call Deadline: 10-May-2004 

Meeting Description:

The 2004 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great
Britain will be held at the University of Surrey Roehampton, from 30th
August to 2nd September. 

LAGB Annual Meeting 2004: University of Surrey Roehampton

30th August to 2nd September


The 2004 Annual Meeting of the Linguistics Association of Great
Britain will be held at the University of Surrey Roehampton, from 30th
August to 2nd September. The local organiser will be Judith Broadbent

For full details see:

- -----------------------

* The Henry Sweet Lecture 2004 entitled '''Unborrowable' areal
traits'' will be delivered by Marianne Mithun (University of
California, Santa Barbara) on the evening of 30th August.

* There will also be a Workshop on 'Contact, borrowability, and
typology', related to the Henry Sweet lecture, and organised by Yaron
Matras (University of Manchester) and April McMahon (University of
Sheffield) on the afternoon of 30th August.

* The Linguistics Association Lecture 2004 on 'Null subjects, ellipsis
and empty categories' will be delivered by Anders Holmberg (University
of Durham) on 2nd September.

* There will also be a special, themed session on the topic of 'Null
subjects, ellipsis and empty categories', related to the Linguistics
Association Lecture, also on 2nd September, for which abstracts are
now invited. These should be submitted in the same way as abstracts
for the general sessions, but should be clearly marked that they are
intended for the special session.

* There will be a Language Tutorial on Michif, given by Peter Bakker
(University of Aarhus).

* There will be a session on 'Teaching linguistics to students of
Modern Languages' organised by the LAGB's Education Committee,
featuring Paul Rowlett (University of Salford) and Florence Myles
(University of Southampton).

Deadline for abstracts: Monday 10th May 2004.

- -----------------------

The meeting will be held at the University of Surrey Roehampton,
Froebel College. The University of Surrey Roehampton is part of the
Federal University of Surrey, together with the University of Surrey
Guildford. Roehampton is made up of four colleges set in beautiful
parkland: Digby Stuart, Froebel, Southlands and Whitelands. Froebel
College was founded in 1892 by a group of people committed to a
radical reform of educational methods. Part of the college is situated
in a Grade II* listed building (Grove House) which is set in four
acres of beautiful heritage gardens.

Travel: Roehampton is situated in south London. London Heathrow and
Gatwick are the most convenient airports and the nearest station is
Barnes. Trains run regularly from London Waterloo to Barnes, and
London buses and the Underground connect with USR. Full details will
be provided in the second circular.

- -----------------------

Members and non-members are invited to offer papers for the
Meeting. The LAGB welcomes submissions on any topic in the field of
linguistics; papers are selected on their (perceived) merits, and not
according to their subject matter or assumed theoretical framework.

Abstracts must be submitted on paper (not by email or by fax). FIVE
anonymous copies of the abstract, plus ONE with name and affiliation,
i.e. CAMERA-READY, should be submitted, and should be sent in the
format outlined below to the President (address below). You must write
your address for correspondence (email or surface, although email is
very much preferred) on the BACK of the camera-ready copy. (Even if
several authors are named on the front, there should be only one name
and address for correspondence.) Papers for the programme are selected
anonymously - only the President knows the name of the authors.

As well as individual abstracts, groups of speakers may submit a set
of abstracts for a themed session (or panel) on any subject of their
choice. Such groups will normally take up a whole session, and group
members may apportion their time within that as they wish (ideal
numbers of abstracts for such sessions might be 3, 4, 5 or 6). All the
abstracts for such sessions will be considered together, as a group,
and one contact for the whole session should be provided. Abstracts
for such themed sessions should be submitted together, to the
President, with the same format as specified for individual abstracts.

All abstracts should be accompanied by an account of any special
requirements regarding audiovisual equipment (other than an
OHP). While we will make every effort to provide such equipment, we
cannot guarantee that it will be available. The normal length for
papers delivered at LAGB meetings is 25 minutes (plus 15 minutes

Abstracts must arrive by Monday 10th May. The committee will plan the
programme as soon as it has selected the successful abstracts, so
please indicate on the anonymous abstracts if you cannot present your
paper on any particular day during the conference. It is very
difficult to reschedule papers after the programme has been planned.

Abstracts must be presented as follows: the complete abstract
(i.e. the one containing your title and your name) must be no longer
than ONE A4 page (21cm x 29.5cm) with margins of at least 2.5cm on all
sides. Only the first page of any abstract submitted will be
considered - no appendices or page for references can be accepted. You
may use single spacing but type must be no smaller than 12 points. If
the paper is accepted, the abstract will be photocopied and inserted
directly into the collection of abstracts sent out to participants, so
the presentation should be clear and clean.

The following layout should be considered as standard: 
(title) Optimality and the Klingon vowel shift 
(speaker and email address) Clark Kent ( 
(institution) Department of Astrology, Eastern Mars University 

The following guidelines may be useful:
* You should clearly describe the paper's general topic. (The topic
may be a problem of theory or analysis or set of data which have not
previously been analysed.)

* You should describe your treatment of the topic, and how it relates
to previous work on the same topic. (When referring to previous work,
it is enough to quote ''Author (Date)'' without giving full
bibliographical details.) It is not acceptable simply to promise a

* You should explain how you will justify your treatment, and quote
crucial evidence - you must trust the committee (and other conference
attenders) not to steal your ideas before you have presented them. If
you are taking a stand on a controversial issue, summarise the
arguments which lead you to take up this position.

- -----------------------

Up to ten bursaries are available for unsalaried members of the
Association (e.g. PhD students); preference will be given to those who
are presenting a paper, but if there are not ten applications from
those presenting papers, applications from non-presenting attenders
will also be considered. Applications should be sent to the President
(address below), and must be received by the deadline for abstracts
(10th May). If you are submitting an abstract and applying for a
bursary, BOTH SHOULD BE SUBMITTED TOGETHER. If you are not submitting
an abstract, but are still eligible, then you are still encouraged to
apply, as we have been able to award bursaries to non-presenting
postgraduates in previous years.
Applicants for bursaries must be members of the Association, although
applications for membership may be submitted at the same time as
applications for bursaries (applications for membership should be sent
to the Membership Secretary, address below). Please state on your
application: (a) date of joining the LAGB; (b) whether or not you are
a student; (c) if a student, whether you receive a grant or
studentship; (d) if not a student, your employment situation. The
bursary normally covers a significant proportion of the conference
expenses and of travel within the UK.

- -----------------------


Professor April McMahon,
Department of English Language and Linguistics, 
University of Sheffield, 
5 Shearwood Road, Sheffield, S10 2TD.

Honorary Secretary
Dr Ad Neeleman,
Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, 
University College London, 
Gower Street, London, WC1E 6BT.

Membership Secretary 
Dr Diane Nelson, 
Department of Linguistics and Phonetics,
University of Leeds, Leeds, LS6 9JT.

Meetings Secretary 
Dr Patrick Honeybone, 
English Language, School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language
University of Edinburgh, 14 Buccleuch Place, Edinburgh, EH8 9LN.

Dr Dunstan Brown, 
Surrey Morphology Group, LCIS, 
University of Surrey, Surrey GU2 7XH

Assistant Secretary 
Dr Katarzyna M. Jaszczolt, 
Department of Linguistics, Faculty of Modern and Medieval Languages,
University of Cambridge, Sidgwick Avenue, Cambridge, CB3 9DA.

- -----------------------

Nominations for committee member vacancy
The Membership Secretary is to step down from this year, so
nominations are requested for a replacement. Any member may be
nominated by any other member (and self-nominations are welcome), and
nominations should be sent to the President by 31st July.
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