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Lectures on Legal Linguistics

Marcus Galdia

This book describes law from the perspective of its language. It expands, reformulates and reshapes the author’s previous book «Legal Linguistics». The recomposed text corresponds to lectures held for students of legal linguistics and scholars interested in the fundamental legal-linguistic research. The author focuses on legal-linguistic operations such as legal argumentation and legal interpretation that steer the legal discourse. He also explains the processes in which the meaning of law emerges in discursive practices. Furthermore, he scrutinizes problems of textuality of law. This book is also an introduction into the law of linguistic communication and into legal futurology that comprises linguistic aspects of legal globalization.

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Part 4: Textuality of Law or Literature and Law


Part 4: Textuality of Law or Literature and Law

In the preceding analysis of the linguistic operations in law we found out that textuality is one of the most specific features of law. It is also the conditio sine qua non of literature. In both, stories and narratives about concrete and abstract issues are composed and developed. In the following chapter I will therefore ask whether legal linguistics can learn from literary criticism and literature that is rooted in fictitious worlds. The most challenging question in this respect could be therefore reduced to the formulation: are novel writers pursuing a creative activity unlike judges who apply law and nothing more than that? When namely both the writer and the judge are equally creative, then legal linguistics is of primordial importance for the legal sciences. Are only writers creative? If so, then the legal linguist would have to satisfy his ambitions with being occasionally mentioned in footnotes. Furthermore, the question as to which types of texts function best in law appears essential to legal linguistics. Legal linguists must be aware of the textual potentiality of law in order to be able to advise jurists on best possible ways to compose legal texts such as constitutions, legal codes and legal commentaries. Narrativity in law is therefore primarily not centered upon the regulation, i.e. the question of what is allowed or what is prohibited. Instead, it concerns mainly the narrative form that regulation obtains in legal-linguistic operations and especially in the...

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