chapter  13
20 Pages

Legal linguistics as a line of study and an academic discipline

ByTarja Salmi-Tolonen

In the present-day accelerated globalization process where our lives are regulated by national legislators, international and supranational legislative bodies with their coercive control devices and also by a number of other institutions and organizations that draw up regulations, research in law and language and legal linguistics curricula based on the findings are of vital importance in legal education and training. Legal linguistics is a fairly new concept to many, even if some of us have been conducting research in order to compile a body of knowledge for the basis of education and made efforts to have it recognized and established for decades. Therefore the term legal linguistics, now that it has become more commonly used, is given many meanings and interpretations – some broader, some narrower. Apparently it is the novelty of the term itself that has attracted many writers to adopt this designation and therefore the variety of meanings given to it is perplexing. The large variety of meanings also gives rise to the impression that legal linguistics is sometimes treated as the trash bin containing all spill-over that does not fit within the boundaries of legal dogmatics and legal positivism and only on the surface related to language.