Douglas A. Kibbee University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Thu 19 Oct 2017, 16:10 - 17:00
DSB 3.10/3.11

If you have a question about this talk, please contact: Mirjam Eiswirth (s1322502)

Language and the law are both cultural products, reflecting a shared communal history and constantly evolving and adapting to new circumstances. Language is the medium of the law in its practice, in its production, in its interpretation.  The legal process transforms social conflict into a verbal duel, but a decidedly unequal duel, an inequality that manifests itself in various ways.  In this talk we shall look at some aspects of the intersection between the professionals of language and professionals of the law : the use of interpreters in the legal system, the evaluation of accent and comprehensibility, and the use of the products of linguistic science in judges' interpretation of the law.  The examples will come from the United States, but the problems are universal.