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Macmillan Higher Education Palgrave Higher Education

Language and Law

ISBN 9781137017949
Publication Date March 2014
Formats Paperback Ebook 
Publisher Palgrave
Series Language and...

What is legal language and where is it found? What does a forensic linguist do? How can linguistic skills help legal professionals?

We are constantly surrounded by legal language, but sometimes it is almost impossible to understand. Providing extracts from real-life legal cases, this highly usable and accessible textbook brims with helpful examples and activities that will help you to navigate this area.

Language and Law:
• introduces useful linguistic concepts and tools
• outlines the methods linguists employ to analyse legal language and language in legal situations
• includes topics on such as: written legal language; threats, warnings and speech act theory; courtroom interactions and the work linguists do to help solve crimes; physical and 'spoken' signs; and the creativity of legal language

Annabelle Mooney is a Reader in Sociolinguistics, Department of Media, Culture and Language at the University of Roehampton, UK. Her research concerns language and the law, and she is currently working on human rights.

1. Finding the Language
2. The Language of Law
3. Don't Do it!
4. That's Not What I Meant
5. The Trials of Language
6. Different Language Different Rules
7. The CSI Effect?
8. The Pen is Mighty
9. Once Upon a Time
10. Signs in Time and Space


Annabelle Mooney's Language and Law provides a clear, accessible, and engaging introduction to the study of language used in the legal process. Abundant real-world examples throughout the text illustrate not only how the law makes special use of language but also how unexpected legal consequences can arise from the ways in which people use language in their everyday lives. While designed as an introductory survey to the field, the comprehensive list of sources will guide the student who wants to explore particular topics further.' Janet Ainsworth, Seattle University School of Law, USA
'This accessible, energetic and engaging book will offer a fascinating voyage of discovery to those beginning their journey into the study of language and law. Mooney's elegant, roomy prose and novel routes into topics provide a refreshing take, even for the more seasoned traveller. The combination of well-selected examples, effective activities and a lean yet thoughtful approach to previous research makes for an invigorating read.' Frances Rock, Cardiff University, UK
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