LINGUIST List 31.3584

Fri Nov 20 2020

Books: Meaning and Power in the Language of Law: Leung, Durant (eds.)

Editor for this issue: Jeremy Coburn <>

Date: 13-Nov-2020
From: Rachel Tonkin <>
Subject: Meaning and Power in the Language of Law: Leung, Durant (eds.)
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Title: Meaning and Power in the Language of Law
Published: 2020
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Editor: Janny H. C. Leung
Editor: Alan Durant
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107533158 Pages: Price: U.S. $ 33.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107533158 Pages: Price: U.K. £ 25.99
Paperback: ISBN: 9781107533158 Pages: Price: Europe EURO 30.33

Legal practitioners, linguists, anthropologists, philosophers and others have all explored fundamental challenges presented by language in formulating, interpreting and applying laws. Building on centuries of interaction between legal practice and jurisprudence, the modern field of 'law and language', or 'forensic linguistics', brings insights in linguistics and related fields to bear on topics including legal drafting and translation, statutory interpretation, expert evidence on language use and dynamics of courtroom interaction. This volume presents an interlocking series of research studies engaged with different legal jurisdictions and socio-political contexts as well as with the more abstract notion of 'law'. Together the chapters, written by international leaders in their fields, highlight recent directions in research and investigate in particular how law expresses yet also conceals power relations in its crafted use of words and in the gaps and silence between those words.

Editors' Introduction Janny H. C. Leung and Alan Durant; Part I. Sui generis or Socially Problematic: The Character of Legal Language: 1. The unspoken language of the law Laura Nader; 2. Seeing sense: the complexity of key words that tell us what law is Alan Durant; 3. Hiding in plain sight: the category of ordinary language and the case law domain of transgender marriage Christopher Hutton; Part II. Imperfect Fit between Legal Categories and Social Discourse: 4. Effects of translation on the invisible power wielded by language in the legal sphere: the case of Nepal Katsuo Nawa; 5. The language of film and the representation of legal subjectivity in Juno Mak's Rigor Mortis Marco Wan; Part III. Written in Silence: Hidden Social Meanings in Legal Discourse: 6. Let the fingers do the talking: language, gesture and power in closing argument Greg Matoesian and Kristin Enola Gilbert; 7. Questions about questioning: courtroom practice in China and the USA Meizhen Liao; 8. Law, language and community sentiment: behind hate speech doctrine in India Siddharth Narrain; Part IV. Conflict between Linguistic and Legal ideologies: 9. When voices fail to carry: voice projection and the case of the 'dumb' jury Chris Heffer; 10. Ideology and political meaning in legal translation Janny H. C. Leung; Part V. Demands of Law and Limits of Language: 11. Law and the grammar of judgment Janet Ainsworth; 12. Legal indeterminacy in the spoken word Lawrence M. Solan and Silvia Dahmen; Afterword: 13. The said of the unsaid Peter Goodrich.

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
                            Forensic Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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Page Updated: 20-Nov-2020