Book

Language, Meaning and the Law

Chris Hutton

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print January 2009 | ISBN: 9780748633500
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748671489 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3366/edinburgh/9780748633500.001.0001
Language, Meaning and the Law

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This work offers a critical guide to debates concerning linguistic meaning and interpretation in relation to legal language. Law is an ideal domain for studying fundamental questions relating to how we assign meanings to words, understand and comment on texts, and deal with socially and ideologically significant questions of interpretation. Theoretical issues of concern to linguists, philosophers, literary theorists, and others are made vivid by the demands of the legal context, since law is driven by the need for practical solutions and for determinate outcomes based on explicit reasoning. Topics covered include: the relationship between linguistics and legal theory, indeterminacy and statutory interpretation, the theory and practice of using dictionaries in law, defamation and language in the public sphere, and the distinction between perjury and deception. The book is designed as a self-contained, advanced introduction to a fascinating area of study, and the reader will gain an overall insight into issues and debates about meaning and interpretation as well as an understanding of how the legal context shapes these questions. The aim of the book is to equip the reader to go on to tackle the academic literature in relation to law and linguistics, legal interpretation and jurisprudence.

Keywords: Law; Meaning; Interpretation; Linguistics; Legal theory; Definition; Authority

Book.  256 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Language Teaching and Learning

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Table of Contents

Legal Theory and Language in Language, Meaning and the Law

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Philosophy, Law and Language in Language, Meaning and the Law

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Issues in Legal Interpretation in Language, Meaning and the Law

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Idols of the Market in Language, Meaning and the Law

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Hard Cases and Ideal Interpreters in Language, Meaning and the Law

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