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LINGUIST List 23.2280

Fri May 11 2012

Confs: Philosophy of Language, Pragmatics, Semantics/Norway

Editor for this issue: Xiyan Wang <xiyanlinguistlist.org>

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Date: 11-May-2012
From: Nicholas Allott <n.e.allottcsmn.uio.no>
Subject: Pragmatics of Legal Language
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Pragmatics of Legal Language

Date: 28-May-2012 - 29-May-2012
Location: Oslo, Norway
Contact: Nicholas Allott
Contact Email: < click here to access email >
Meeting URL: http://www.hf.uio.no/csmn/english/research/news-and-events/events/conferences-and-seminars/language-law.html

Linguistic Field(s): Philosophy of Language; Pragmatics; Semantics

Meeting Description:

In recent decades, interpretation has become one of the central topics in the study of law (e.g. Endicott, 1994; Marmor, 1992, 2008; Raz, 2009), and beyond legal and academic circles, the debate between textualism and intentionalism has become a matter of public interest.

Meanwhile in linguistic pragmatics and the philosophy of language, there has been considerable investigation into the gap between linguistic meaning and meaning expressed, and the roles of speaker intention and hearer inference in communication (e.g. Carston, 2002; Recanati, 2002, 2004).

This workshop focuses on the pragmatic (and semantic) issues that arise in the interpretation of legal language, the extent to which they are continuous with issues of linguistic interpretation generally and the extent to which they are specific to the legal context. A central question is the applicability of Gricean (neo-Gricean) maxims or the cognitive-communicative principles of Relevance Theory to legal language. More specific topics in linguistic pragmatics include ambiguity, reference fixing, vagueness, lexical meaning adjustment, loose and/or metaphorical language use, implicature, presupposition, and illocutionary force. We anticipate that a sizable subset of these topics will be discussed as well as the textualist/intentionalist debate (Neale 2008), the literalist/contextualist debate, and the distinction between the interpretation of a law and its application.

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