Speaking of Language and Law: Conversations on the Work of Peter Tiersma

ISBN : 9780199334186

Roger W. Shuy; Peter Tiersma; Lawrence M. Solan; Janet Ainsworth
328 Pages
163 x 244 mm
Pub date
Sep 2015
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Among the most prominent scholars of language and law is Peter Tiersma, a law professor at Loyola Law School with a doctorate in linguistics (co-editor of The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law). Tiersma's significant body of work traverses a variety of legal and linguistic fields. This book offers a selection of twelve of Tiersma's most influential publications, divided into five thematic areas that are critical to both law and linguistics: Language and Law as a Field of Inquiry, Legal Language and its History, Language and Civil Liability, Language and Criminal Justice, and Jury Instructions. Each paper is accompanied by a brief commentary from a leading scholar in the field, offering a substantive conversation about the ramifications of Tiersma's work and the disagreements that have often surrounded it.


Part I
Legal Language and Its History
1. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from A History of the Languages of Law (in The Oxford Handbook of Language and Law)
2. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Legal Language
3. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Parchment, Paper, Pixels
4. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Some Myths about Legal Language
5. Frederick Schauer, On the Relationship Between Legal and Ordinary Language
6. Ronald R. Butters, Legal Language and its History: Quo Imus? Qua Imus?
7. Frank S. Ravitch, Philosophical Hermeneutics in the Age of Pixels: Hans-Georg Gadamer, Peter Tiersma, and Dasein in the Age of the Internet
8. Edward Finegan, The Language of Lawyers and the Language of Plumbers
9. Dieter Stein, Words, Words, Words - But What's in a Text?
Part II
The Language of Contracts and Wills
10. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Parchment, Paper, Pixels
11. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Reassessing Unilateral Contracts
12. Brian H. Bix, Philosophy of Language, Unilateral Contracts, and the Law
13. Sidney W. DeLong, How to do Legal Things with Words: The Contracts Scholarship of Peter Tiersma
14. Peter Goodrich, Tiersma Contra Mundum In Defence Of Promises
15. Jeffrey M. Lipshaw, Formalism, Speech Acts, and The Realities Of Contract Formation
Part III
Speech and Action
The Meanings of Silence in Law
16. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpts from The Language of Silence
17. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Nonverbal Communication and the Freedom of Speech
18. Elizabeth Mertz, Law's Metalinguistics: Silence, Speech, and Action
19. Malcolm Coulthard, The Sounds of Silence
20. Meizhen Liao, Speech or Silence: Within and Beyond Language and Law
21. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt fromThe Language of Consent in Rape Law (In Janet Cotterill (ed.), The Language of Sexual Crime (pp. 91-97)
22. Susan Ehrlich, 'Inferring' Consent in the Context of Rape and Sexual Assault
23. Tim Grant & Kerrie Spaul, Felicitous Consent
24. Gregory M. Matoesian, Reflections on Peter Tiersma's "
25. Gail Stygall, Speaking of Consent
26. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from The Language of Defamation
27. John M. Conley, Defamation as Speech Act: A Theory that Works
28. Roger W. Shuy, Applying Tiersma's Defamation Theory to Defamation Cases
29. Krzysztof Kredens, Scarlet Letter or Badge of Honour? Semantic Interpretation in Changing Contexts of Culture
Part IV
Interpreting Laws
30. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Parchment, Paper, Pixels (pp. 169-176, starting with "Dynamic Statutes")
31. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from The Textualization of Precedent (pp. 1187-89, 1257-62).
32. Lawrence M. Solan, Talk About Text as Text
33. Jeffrey P. Kaplan, Textualization, Textualism, and Purpose-Stating Preambles
34. Dru Stevenson, Between Paper and Pixels - How the Form of Modern Laws Changed their Function
Part V
Language and Criminal Justice
Crimes of Language
35. Peter M. Tiersma, Except from The Language of Perjury: " Ambiguity, and the False Statement Requirement
36. Lawrence M. Solan and Peter M. Tiersma, " (from Speaking of Crime (pp. 198-204)
37. Janet Ainsworth, How We Play Games with Words in the Law
38. Philip Gaines, Toward a Communicative Approach to Law- and Rule-Making
39. Susan Berk-Seligson, Threats: A Pragmalinguistic Approach to the Analysis of a Speech Crime
Criminal Justice and Everyday Speech
40. Peter M. Tiersma, Except from The Judge as Linguist
41. Hannes Kniffka, Applied (Forensic) Linguistics in Autochthonic and Allochthonic Use
42. Richard A. Leo, The Sound of Silence: Miranda Waivers, Selective Literalism and Social Context
43. Laurie L. Levenson, Words Alone
44. Frances Rock, Sizzling Irons: Speaking of Criminal Justice
Part VI
Jury Instructions
45. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from The Rocky Road to Legal Reform
46. Peter M. Tiersma, Excerpt from Legal Language
47. Bethany K. Dumas, Navigating the Rocky Road
48. Chris Heffer, Authority and Accommodation: Judicial Responses to Jurors' Questions
49. Nancy S. Marder, Jury Instructions Written for Jurors: A Perennial Challenge
Bibliography of Peter Tiersma's Work

About the author: 

Peter Tiersma is Professor of Law at Loyola Law School.; Lawrence Solan is Professor of Law at Brooklyn Law School.; Janet Ainsworth is Professor of Law at Seattle University School of Law.; Roger W. Shuy is Emeritus Professor of Linguistics at Georgetown University.

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