4.2 Hu

| August 7, 2020

Pi-chan Hu. (2014). A Study of the Frame of Legal Language. International Journal of Law, Language & Discourse 4(2), 1-45.

Abstract: Why is there always a wide gap between ordinary language and legal language? Do legal professionals and laymen think differently? In this study, we employed categorization theories such as frame semantics, checklist theory and prototype theory to establish the frame of legal language (legal frame) and the frame of ordinary language (layman frame). We found that the construction of the legal frame is made up of elements in a rigid connection and all the elements are necessary and sufficient. By contrast, the construction of the layman frame is composed of elements in a loose connection and not every element is necessary or sufficient. The difference between the rigidity of the legal frame and the looseness of the layman frame is what leads to the gap between ordinary language and legal language. The very difference in frames of language gives rise to the difference of categorization in the mind of ordinary people and legal professionals.

Keywords: legal language; categorization; frame semantics; checklist theory; prototype theory


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Category: Volume 4