From: Le Cheng <chengle163hotmail.com>
Subject: Call for Book Chapters: Law and Discourse
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Law and Discourse
Integrity, Diversity and Dynamicity
Editors: Le Cheng, Winnie Cheng and Malcolm Coulthard
Oxford University Press
Call for Book Chapters
The interface between language and law can be divided into three
categories: the language of the law, the language of the judicial process,
and language as evidence (Coulthard and Johnson, 2007). In the area of the
language of the law, the scholarship can be traced back to Coode’s works as
early as 1845. The follow-up research works have examined the language of
the law from various perspectives, including formal linguistics (e.g.
Grewendorf & Rathert, 2009; Hiltunen, 1990), lexicography (Harris & Hutton,
2007), philosophy (e.g. Bix, 1993; Collier, 2009; Mellinkoff, 1963),
semiotics (Jackson, 1985, 1995; Bhatia & Wagner, 2009; Goodrich, 1990),
applied linguistics (e.g. Gibbons, 1994, 2004; Kniffka, 2007; Schane, 2006;
Tiersma, 2002), sociology (e.g. Conley & O’Barr, 1998, 2005; Ng, 2009),
rhetoric (Sarat & Kearns, 1996), and ethnography and conversation analysis
(Travers & Manzo, 1997). These studies have provided insights into the
interaction between language and law, but none of them have particularly
addressed the issues in law and “discourse” (e.g. Coulthard, 1977, 1992,
2000; Harris, 1952; Sinclair & Coulthard, 1975; c.f. Coulthard, 1994) from
contrastive perspectives. As pointed out by Connor (1996), expectations of
different discourse communities are one of the primary reasons for any
cross-cultural differences in writing styles. In addition, sub-cultural
differences within the same discourse community often give rise to
differences in the writing styles of the same genre within that community
(Cheng & Sin, 2007). Such is no exception for legal professionals who write
in light of their own cognitively-ingrained, culture-specific discourse
conventions. Cross-jurisdiction comparison will provide us fresh insights
into an outsider’s view of one’s own legal system and legislative language.
Contrastive studies can be also approached from the perspectives of between
the legal discourse and non-legal discourse, between different types of
legal discourse, and between different historical demonstrations of a given
legal discourse within the same jurisdictions.
A volume that presents a collection of contrastive studies in law and
discourse will not only provide the latest global research findings in
discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, and language for specific purposes,
but also furnish us with a new approach to, and therefore fresh insights
into, the phenomena in, as well as the nature of, law. The volume will
appeal to different groups of readers and researchers in applied
linguistics, terminology, discourse analysis, corpus linguistics, forensic
linguistics, and jurisprudence by showing how contrastive rhetoric could
reformulate and broaden our understandings of a significant social
phenomenon – law.
Abstract submission deadline: 15 April 2011
Notification of acceptance: 1 May 2011
Paper submission deadline: 30 June 2011
Final version of paper submission deadline: 31 August 2011
Inquiries and Submission
Correspondence should be made via email to the editors:
Le Cheng (chengle163hotmail.com)
Winnie Cheng (egwchengpolyu.edu.hk)
Malcolm Coulthard (r.m.coulthardaston.ac.uk).
Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics
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