Vagueness in Normative Texts

by Vijay K. Bhatia (Volume editor) Jan Engberg (Volume editor) Maurizio Gotti (Volume editor) Dorothee Heller (Volume editor)
©2005 Edited Collection 482 Pages
Series: Linguistic Insights, Volume 23


Normative texts are meant to be highly impersonal and decontextualised, yet at the same time they also deal with a range of human behaviour that is difficult to predict, which means they have to have a very high degree of determinacy on the one hand, and all-inclusiveness on the other. This poses a dilemma for the writer and interpreter of normative texts. The author of such texts must be determinate and vague at the same time, depending upon to what extent he or she can predict every conceivable contingency that may arise in the application of what he or she writes. The papers in this volume discuss important legal and linguistic aspects relating to the use of vagueness in legal drafting and demonstrate why such aspects are critical to our understanding of the way normative texts function.


ISBN (Softcover)
Ambiguität Diskursanalyse Rechtssprache Aufsatzsammlung American Language Law Contemporary English Applied Linguistic General Legal Theory International Law Discourse Analysis
Bern, Berlin, Bruxelles, Frankfurt am Main, New York, Oxford, Wien, 2005. 482 pp.

Biographical notes

Vijay K. Bhatia (Volume editor) Jan Engberg (Volume editor) Maurizio Gotti (Volume editor) Dorothee Heller (Volume editor)

The Editors: Vijay Bhatia is Professor in the Department of English at the City University of Hong Kong and Adjunct Professor, Department of Linguistics, Macquarie University, Australia. His main areas of research are applied genre analysis of academic and professional discourse; ESP theory and practice; simplification of legal and other public documents; cross-cultural and disciplinary variation in professional discourse. Jan Engberg is Associate Professor at the Faculty of Language and Business Communication of the Aarhus School of Business, Denmark. His main areas of interest are the study of texts and genres, cognitive aspects of domain-specific discourse and communication in LSP settings. Maurizio Gotti is Professor of English Linguistics at the University of Bergamo. He is currently President of the Italian Association of University Language Centres and Director of CERLIS, the research centre on specialized languages based at the University of Bergamo. Dorothee Heller is Associate Professor of German at the University of Bergamo. Her publications and research are mainly concerned with genre analysis, pragmatics and historiography, with special attention to LSP. Her current research focuses on legal and academic discourse.


Title: Vagueness in Normative Texts