Annual Review of Applied Linguistics (1999) 19, 156-173. Printed in the USA.
Copyright � 1999 Cambridge University Press 0267-1905/99 $9.50


John Gibbons


Law is language. It is not solely language, since it is a social institution manifested also in non-linguistic ways, but it is a profoundly linguistic institution.

Laws are coded in language, and the processes of the law are mediated through language. The legal system puts into action a society's beliefs and values, and it permeates many areas of life, from a teacher's responsibilities to a credit card agreement. The language of the law is therefore of genuine importance, particularly for people concerned with addressing language issues and problems in the real world - that is, Applied Linguists.

Aside from the work of applied linguists, there is important related work on language and the law in the fields of literature, communication, philosophy, legal studies, and psychology. Word limits mean that there is not space to discuss all of these issues, although a comprehensive theorized understanding would demand their inclusion. Indeed, each of the major areas in the review that follows merits a lengthy review of its own, but even these topics cannot be treated in more than a passing manner in a review such as this: Rather than repeat this warning in each section, I make it now.

1. Communication

Legal communication includes non-verbal semiotic systems (e.g., gesture, illustrations) and a linguistic system with (at least) three levels: the grapho-phonic system (e.g., the font used in a legal document, the pace and intonation of a judge's instructions to a jury); the lexico-grammatical system (words, morphology, syntax); and the discourse system, including genres. The regular use of particular lexicon and grammar within specific socio-cultural areas such as the law constitute another linguistic aspect, that of registers (Kurzon 1997) - while difficult to define, the legal register is usually easily recognizable. The lexico-grammar is used to negotiate meaning, including propositional meaning, social meaning, and functional meaning (the last often referred to as 'speech acts'). This negotiating of meaning inevitably involves a construal of the social and physical world - the legal view of the world is unique and particular. Such construal is therefore pragmatically related to sociocultural and physical contexts. As the notion of construal implies, a third aspect of communication is the world view/knowledge of the participants, including their social schemas, physical world schemas, and intentions, in other words, their preexisting shared and differing understandings of social and material worlds, and particularly of the topic of the communication. An important part of this knowledge consists of their command of the above elements of the communication process, that is, their communicative ability.

2. Law

Law consists both of a code of laws and processes for applying them and disputing their application. This distinction, between the static or codified, and the dynamic and dialogic aspects of the law is useful, although the two interact, and the boundary is fuzzy (for instance 'precedent' operates as means of converting the outcomes of dynamic legal processes into static bases for interpretation). Law of this kind appears to have developed long before writing as part of the regulatory system of human societies, as can still be seen in the "traditional law" of orate cultures. (There is a substantial anthropological literature.) Religion has also played a role in the development of law - an important predecessor of Common Law courts were the Ecclesiastical courts; for example, Islamic or Shari'ah Law is the basis of many legal systems around the world, although not entirely: Saudi Arabia has non-Islamic traffic courts. There are, in addition, many 'local' legal systems, but these have often blended with two secular legal systems which have evolved into many variants around the world. Roman Law, also known as the Inquisitorial system, developed from ancient Roman law and is found in much of continental Europe, East and South East Asia, Latin America, and parts of Africa and the Middle East. Common Law, also known as the Adversarial system, originated in England and Wales and can be found where English speakers have ruled, including England and Wales, North America, much of Australasia and Oceania, South Asia, Singapore and Malaysia, and parts of Africa and the Middle East.


The law in literate societies is a social institution which has become highly specialized, predominantly written, and since it involves the imposition of societal norms, associated with the deployment of power. These three characteristics are marked in the language of the law. The development of the language of the law thus reveals 1) the move from speech to writing, 2) specialization and technicality (e.g., legal dictionaries), and 3) the use of power (Atkinson and Drew 1979).

Jackson (1994:201) writes, "The cognitive structures of the law have come to reflect written forms of consciousness." Danet and Bogoch (1994) document the linguistic consequences of the move from spoken to written legal texts, and also the return to more orate forms in incipient post-literate uses of video recording and photography, perhaps as part of a more profound cultural change from aurality to visuality. Judges too may 'translate' from written to spoken form for the benefit of jurors (Phillips 1985).

Technicality and the impact of writing are manifested in various ways. The main lexical characteristic of the law is large-scale technicality. This feature can involve technical terms that are not part of everyday language, such as 'codicil,' 'deforcement,' and 'decree nisi.' But it may also mean that everyday words are used in a specialized sense, for instance 'contempt,' 'execution' (of a document), 'caution,' and 'costs.' The classic Mellinkoff (1963) text is still an important source for a history of the language of Common Law, including the influence of Latin (e.g., 'habeas corpus') and French (e.g., 'tort') in the development of technical language (see also Hiltunen 1990). The legal system construes external reality in a unique way and legal practice is a distinct microculture, so at least some of this lexical technicality is necessary to express legal notions and refer to legal processes. The grammar of the language of the law reflects in very long noun phrases the need to package complex and precise meanings (Danet 1990) and in complex syntactic structures the need to establish both the nature of laws and the conditions under which they apply (Bhatia 1994). Both of these characteristics are required, but probably not to the degree to which they are currently used. Legal technicality is also found in languages other than English and in other legal systems; for instance, Pardo (1996:36) describes legal technicality in Spanish, as does Duarte (1993:66-67) for Catalan. In the area of semantics and hermeneutics, linguistics has many applications in the areas of the drafting, interpretation, and implementation of the law. The Plain Legal Language movement is perhaps the best known influence upon drafting. There is a significant and occasionally heated debate (e.g., Washington University Law Quarterly 1995, 73/5) between eminent lawyers and linguists concerning the role of linguistic approaches to interpretation and implementation of legislation, and Solan (1995) provides important insights on this debate.

Power relations are manifested in many ways, but particularly in spoken interaction between lawyers and layfolk, between police and public, and between prison staff and prisoners. For example, turn allocation in the courtroom is constrained by power relations. Another example is the extensively studied coerciveness of courtroom questioning (Danet, et al. 1980, Harris 1984), with degrees of coercion in barristers' questions ranging from the very open "can you tell us anything about the incident?" to the highly coercive "you removed it, didn't you?" Other coercive tactics include the use of presupposition, reformulations which distort what a witness said, variations in pace, unexpected ordering of questions, and the use of loaded vocabulary. The use of technicality may also serve power purposes. However, witnesses may resist and may indeed use tactics of their own.

Three additional focal areas of legal language research include speech act analysis, discourse interaction, and critical discourse analysis. Speech act analysis in the law has mainly concerned itself with the nature of certain language crimes such as threats and broken promises (see 'language crimes' below) and with the major speech act of 'enactment' (Kurzon 1986), the form of words by which statutes put out by a parliament or other ruling body become law. Enactment formulae are found in many legal systems. (I have examples from Germany, Italy, Egypt, the USA, Australia, and the UK, and Pardo [1994] describes one for Spanish.) Jackson (1997) challenges the notion that these are in fact enactment speech acts.

At the discourse level, Hale and Gibbons (forthcoming) show that two levels of reality are manifested in courtroom language: the primary courtroom reality and the secondary reality of the events under litigation, which are projected through the courtroom reality. Concerning the primary reality, Maley (1994) provides a taxonomy of legal genres, and Atkinson and Drew (1979) and Harris (1984) represent examples of conversation analyses of courtroom discourse. A well established way of conceiving the representation of the secondary reality is to view it as narrative, and in fact to see prosecution and defense cases as containing competing narrative representations of the same reality. Bennett and Feldman (1981) describe these as competing "stories." There has been sustained interest in this type of analysis (Brooks and Gewirtz 1996), and courtroom narratives are not limited to the particular events under litigation; they may be stories of the witness' life, loves, and previous contacts with the law, and their appraisal might benefit from literary imagination (Bohler and le Roux 1997, Nussbaum 1995). Work has also been done on interaction in other legal settings such as dispute resolution and lawyer-client interaction.

Critical discourse analysis has also become an emerging focus. For instance, Vasilachis de Gialdino (1997a; 1997b) examined an Argentinian labor reform bill rooted in neo-liberalism, describing the language used within labor courts in Argentina, the discussion of the reform in the parliament and the executive, and the treatment of these in the local press. She showed that, in the case of local press reporting, workers were not discussed, unionists were portrayed as violent and irrational, and reduced protection for workers was portrayed as a positive move towards globalization, modernization, and flexibility (Vasilachis de Gialdino 1997a: 270-271). There is similarly a growing debate concerning gender and language in the law, often showing an interaction between legal power and male-female power relations (Bogoch 1997, Chng 1996:16-21, Matoesian 1997). This discussion is also related to language and disadvantage before the law (see below).

The great majority of the references given above are written in English about English. There is, however, considerable work in and about other languages, though space does not permit me to give this area full coverage. Notably, there is a new series on legal language in various countries (Rechtssprache des Auslands [Legal language of countries]) consisting, at the time of writing, of Cavagnoli and W�lk (1997) on Italian, and Byrd (1997) on English. There is also a new series on legal language "Rechtslinguistik - Studien zu Text und Kommunikation" [Legal linguistics - Studies in text and communication] edited in Germany. One should note also the journal, LLengua i Dret [Language and Law] published in Barcelona, which has papers in Catalan, French, English, and Spanish.


Problems in legal communication commonly occur when legal professionals attempt to communicate with layfolk. Areas that have received considerable attention from scholars are contracts (particularly insurance policies), legislation, judges' instructions to juries, and standard police cautions or warnings (such as the Miranda Warnings in the USA). The importance of addressing communication is obvious - in Victoria, Australia, there was some concern recently when it was realized that food regulations could not be understood by cooks. Miscommunication is life threatening in the situation described by Diamond and Levi (1996), where jurors did not fully understand instructions concerning mitigating factors when deciding whether to impose a death penalty.

One source of this difficulty is that legal discourse may be addressing two audiences, both a lay audience and a legal audience. For instance, police cautions must not only communicate to the person being cautioned, they must also be admissible in court as having fully performed that function. This explains in part the inertia, and even resistance, when it comes to using plain language for legal purposes. Another source of resistance among police and lawyers is their understanding of the types of social message conveyed. Most work in this area has assumed that only propositional information is communicated by, for example, police cautions. It is clear, however, that complex and technical language also carries a social message concerning the power and authority of the person using it. Resistance to a lessening of this power and authority is not surprising.

1. Language and disadvantage before the law

The technical, written, and power laden nature of legal language makes the language of the law notoriously impenetrable for non-lawyers. The situation is

even worse for those who have a low proficiency in the language of the legal process, such as many second language speakers or the deaf. Writtenness and technicality will reduce effective participation in legal processes by children, the illiterate, and the mentally handicapped. It may also affect speakers of other dialects or sociolects. Power asymmetries may impact particularly on the traumatized, children, women, and already disadvantaged minorities. The law is also a cultural field, and the disadvantage suffered by cultural minorities is powerfully documented by Eades (1994), Jacquemet (1996), and Stygall (1994). These disadvantages represent daunting human rights issues to which only partial solutions have been found in new legislation, revised procedures (such as video cameras in private rooms for children), and the education of legal professionals and the public.

2. Improving legal communication

The early attempts to improve legal communication with non-lawyers, including the classic work by Charrow and Charrow (1979), focused on the lexicogrammatical area. The problems that were identified were those particular aspects of legal language discussed earlier, which emerge from decontextualized written language and a specialist field. Some, although not all, advice to persons producing written text for non-lawyers gave quite simple formulas such as 'avoid nominalizations,' 'avoid passives,' 'avoid more than two embeddings,' 'ensure that the order of ideas is coherent and logical,' 'avoid technical language' (Steinberg 1991). Essentially, the plain language movement was attempting to shift the register from highly written and technical to more everyday, spoken-like, and nontechnical forms. There is ample evidence in the literature that this approach produced substantial improvements in communication. However, as Solomon (1996) points out, plain language practitioners could not fully follow their own nostrums. There are good reasons for using nominalizations to summarize the ideas previously discussed in a text. Passives are sometimes necessary in order to delete uncertain agents, to organize information flow in texts, or to make certain participants the theme or topic of a text. There is also a loss in avoiding technicality. Technical language constructs the world in a different way from everyday language: It can be useful to define a particular term and then use it. Problems are more likely to arise when technical terms are used without definition to an audience that is unaware of them. For example, Diamond and Levi (1996:232) mention jurors who misunderstand the legal term "aggravating" to mean "irritating." (For more discussion, see Engberg and Trosborg 1997.)

The improvements in intelligibility produced by lexico-grammatical modifications were necessary, but not sufficient. In recent years, there has been a move away from formulaic transformation to examine more thoroughly the role of aspects of communication other than lexico-grammar. Penman (1992) suggests that comprehensibility can be substantially improved by formating - by the use of subheading, numbering, etc. She and others have demonstrated the usefulness of testing out multiple rewrites of a text in order to discover empirically which version really communicates best. Importantly, work by Steele and Thornburg (1988) shows the problematic relation between the speaker/writer and the hearer/ reader. They indicate that lawyers are often not aware that the text they produce is not intelligible to a lay audience, not because of language but because of a lack of shared knowledge. At its most extreme, this miscommunication can be manifested as resistance by jurors because they have their own understanding of justice, and they are not prepared to accept the version manifested in the legal system (Lieberman and Sales 1997). This type of problem can be handled in part by educating jurors, but this approach is still in its infancy.

3. Legal interpreting and translation

One means of addressing some of the problems outlined above, where they impact upon second language speakers, the deaf, or even second dialect speakers, is through the use of legal interpreters or translators. Legal interpreting is a substantial academic field in its own right, so only a brief foray into two major issues is possible: access to appropriate interpreting/translation services, including interpreter supply and certification; and the specific nature of legal interpreting and translation.

There is no basic Common Law right to the use of an interpreter. The situation is similar under Roman Law. Therefore, the right of access to an interpreter in contacts with the courts and the police varies greatly across jurisdictions. As a consequence of the ever increasing movement of peoples, particularly through migration, there is a noticeable increase in the need for access to interpreters. Taking Australia as an example, Carroll (1995) documents extreme under-use of interpreters and a consequent change in Federal Law (now adopted in some States also). (For British parallels, see Morris 1998.) This change has reversed the onus of proof, so a court now has to justify not using an interpreter if an appeal is made on the basis of language problems. However, there is still no full right to an interpreter as there is in some U.S. jurisdictions (Berk-Seligson 1990:27). Among police in New South Wales, figures show that interpreter use is around 1-2 percent of all interviews, while interpreter need may be as high as 20 percent. Gibbons (1995) documents the unfortunate consequences of this imbalance. The revised 1998 NSW Police Codes of Practice have now strengthened support for interpreter use, but not imposed it. A contributory factor in the under-use of interpreters is the low supply of appropriately certified interpreters. In many states in the U.S., training and certification of legal interpreters is well developed, particularly for Spanish. The situation is highly variable elsewhere, with some new certification initiatives appearing, but truly competent legal interpreting is still far from universal. There will probably always be a problem with languages of low demand or languages of communities with few proficient bilinguals.

The nature of legal interpreting is the object of considerable research. Colin and Morris (1996) provide an overview, and there are many papers in translation and interpreting journals such as META and The Translator. One important issue is the court's view of interpreters and the consequent treatment and use of them. Lawyers appear to have problems with the use of interpreters, being uncomfortable with the loss of control over the discourse in the interpreting process and not understanding that an interpreter is not a robotic device or 'conduit' that converts word for word from one language into another (Hale 1997). A second issue involves the problems raised by legal interpreting itself, given the complex technical nature of legal language. Berk-Seligson (1990) and Hale (1997) describe problems in Spanish-English interpreting, particularly register features. A third issue is a conceptual mismatch between understandings of the law when witnesses or accused are from a different cultural background. To give just one example of a problem, Hale and Gibbons (forthcoming) mention that certain courtroom formulae such as "I put it to you that..." are embedded in Common Law concepts, and a literal interpretation, which is probably the best an interpreter can do, cannot convey this conceptual frame to a person from a Roman Law background. This is why Morris (1998) refers to legal interpreters as a "necessary evil." There is a wide consensus that lawyers and police require explicit training in the nature of interpreting, in what interpreters can and cannot do, and in how best to use interpreters. Again, such training varies greatly from place to place.


1. Language rights

Around the world there have been many efforts to provide rights under law to linguistic minorities, both in the prevention of discrimination and in the right to use their language (� Riag�in and Nic Shuibhne 1997). The Mercator website <> is a rich source of information on the largely successful attempts of European linguistic minorities such as the Catalans, Basques, Bretons, and Welsh to gain some official legal status for their languages. In Canada too, over recent decades, the place of French has been greatly strengthened, particularly in Quebec and New Brunswick. In other countries, a bloody pursuit of minority language rights continues - for instance Kurdish in Turkey and Albanian in Serbia. Kaplan and Baldauf (forthcoming) note that the U.S. appears to be moving in the reverse direction to most other countries. Under the influence of the U.S. English movement, the U.S. has been moving to outlaw the use of minority languages for institutional purposes, and legislation to this effect has been introduced in many states of the U.S. A balanced account of the debate can be found in Edwards (1994:166-170).

2. The right to silence

Another area of legislation on language is the Right to Silence provision of the Common Law, which allows no negative inferences to be drawn if an accused remains silent. (This is generally not the case in Roman Law systems.) In the UK, the decision of many IRA suspects to remain silent during police questioning led to a change in the law: "Now, the refusal to answer questions put by the police may result in such silence being taken into account when deciding on the case at trial" (Kurzon 1998:60).

3. Language crimes

There are various language acts that have been legislated against. Offensive language is prescribed in many Common Law jurisdictions, but, in reality, prosections are rare - social norms have weakened, and many people lack the hypocrisy to prosecute others for behavior they engage in themselves. Where prosecutions do occur, they tend to be used as means of addressing agendas other than bad language, as can be seen in the prosecution of aborigines for swearing by the New South Wales police, who themselves have a reputation for bad language (Taylor 1995, Walsh 1995). Other language crimes have to do essentially with the issue of whether or not a particular speech act has been performed, and perhaps even more problematically, whether it is the illocutionary intention, the perlocutionary force, or some "neutral" reading of the semantics of the utterance that will decide the issue. Threats provide a paradigm example, and the difficulties in deciding are brought out by Shuy (1993) and particularly by Yamamata (1995). (See also the discussion of Shuy [1993] below.)

Vilification, particularly racial vilification, is a language act that has been made illegal in most developed nations with the exception of the U.S., where freedom of speech is taken as the paramount concern. Blain (1995) asks how "people talk themselves and others into killing people," and other papers in the collection by Freedman and Freedman (1995) debate in considerable depth the legal and moral issue of banning racist communication. A major applied linguistic issue is deciding what constitutes vilification, since much of it is coded. There is also work from psychologists on the impact of racist language (e.g., Leets and Giles 1997). In some jurisdictions, vilification on the basis of other human characteristics such as religion and sexuality is also banned, and there may be institutions charged with pursuing cases of vilification. There is also a long history of language being used to mask genocide - "ethnic cleansing" being a recent example.


There is not a consensus on the meaning of this term. Some people in the field would include all the areas discussed in this review under this label, others would include only some of them. Here I am taking the term in the strict sense of 'the field of the provision of linguistic evidence.' As such, it may include language crimes, but the description and definition of language crimes need not involve expert testimony. Such evidence is typically given in court, but it may also involve aid to the police, to insurance companies, or, for example, to companies on copyright issues. Although the journal Forensic Linguistics deals with many language and law issues, including for instance legal interpreting, its contents over the four years of publication have predominantly concerned forensic linguistics. Formerly, much publication in the area appeared in edited collections such as Kniffka, Blackwell and Coulthard (1996).

1. Admissibility

Important issues concerning linguistic evidence are its admissibility in court nd its nature. Eades (1997) shows in considerable depth the problems of gaining acceptance in court of linguistic evidence on aborigines. There are other accounts of the difficulties and frustrations involved in the presentation and acceptance of linguistic evidence in court (Coulthard 1997, Storey-White 1997). In Britain and in much of Australia, the constraint on linguistic evidence has eased with the introduction of new Evidence Acts, but Shuy (1993) mentions problems in the U.S. with Rule of Evidence 702.

2. Areas of forensic linguistics

The types of information that linguistics can offer to the law fall into two main categories: 1) issues of authorship (i.e., whether a particular person said or wrote something) and 2) problems of meaning and communication. These issues can be addressed across all aspects of communication mentioned in the introduction, in both spoken and written form. Identification of authorship is often more reliable in the negative, since it is often possible to say with certainty that two language samples come from different people, even if it is not always possible to say with certainty that two samples come from the same person.

Phonetics. There are two principal means of voice identification, the ear or a machine. The ear may be untrained, as in the case of earwitnessing, which provides evidence of limited dependability, or linguistically trained, which may offer greater reliability (Schiller and K�ster 1998). The machine analysis of voices is a major sub-field with regular conferences. It fell into disrepute when the FBI made excessive claims concerning spectrographs, which were misleadingly renamed 'voiceprints.' The important work by Hollien (1990) and K�nzel (1987) and others, allied to technological developments, has now increased both the reliability of findings and caution in their use. Various voice features are used in identification, but vowel formants still predominate. Hollien (1990) also discusses the sound 'signatures' left by telephones, tape recorders, etc.

Handwriting and type. Found, Dick and Rogers (1994) discuss the numerous features of handwriting that may permit identification. With the steady reduction in the use of handwritten material, emphasis has turned to the identification of typefaces, printers, and programs.

Words. These generally form part of broader examinations of style. McMenamin (1993) discusses forensic uses of both the identificatory value of word use and issues of word meaning, for instance, what the word 'accident' means in an insurance policy. A controversial area of forensic linguistics is 'Stylometry.' This technique involves word counts of various types, and the measurement of the cooccurrence of fairly common linguistic items such as 'the + adjective + noun'; it is proposed that individuals vary considerably from each other on such features. It uses a statistical technique 'cusum' (Farringdon, et al. 1996) to analyze the data. It has been widely attacked for the reliability of the statistics (Smith 1994). Even Bissell (1995:59), a supporter, writes "word-count analysis, using cusums or other techniques, can form only part of an investigation into authorship." Linguists have also doubted the validity of the technique, questioning whether there is any identificatory potential in parameters such as 'the number of words beginning with a vowel'; "there is no generally accepted support for such a proposition"(Canter and Chester 1997:259). The controversial nature of the technique can be seen in the two utterly opposed reviews of Farringdon, et al. (1996) in Forensic Linguistics (1998, 51). Johnson (1997) provides an alternative approach based on word counts of vocabulary shared between writers.

Grammar. There are a few examples of the discussion of morphology as evidence. One interesting instance in the communication area is Lentine and Shuy (1990), which discusses the meaning of the Mc prefix as adopted by McDonalds. Concerning authorship, Jensen (1995) reports on her use of morphological data to demonstrate that language attributed to a second language speaker was beyond his current linguistic competence. Levi (1994) provides examples of communication problems caused by syntactic complexity. McMenamin (1993) and Eagleson (1994) provide examples of cases where authorship could be established using a range of linguistic evidence, including syntactic structure.

Discourse. In the area of communication, Labov (1988) describes the U.S. Steel case, which was fundamentally a problem of 'document design' or text construction. Concerning authorship, Coulthard (1994) gave important evidence in the judicial appeal of the Birmingham Six, which showed on the basis of the nature of the discourse that the police records of interviews contained fabrications. For instance, they contained repeated reference to a "white plastic bag" in that full form, rather than beginning with the full form, and then using only "bag" thereafter, which would be normal in spoken discourse. Coulthard also examined a range of other features. The Birmingham Six were subsequently released and paid compensation.

Sociolinguistics. Variations in all the areas mentioned above (speech sounds, words, syntax, etc.) are associated with different geographical regions, or Dialect (e.g., Queensland English); with socio-economic status, or Sociolect (e.g., working class English); and with different uses of language, or Register (e.g., the language of the courtroom). There are a number of examples of the forensic use of evidence on dialect differences reported in the journal, American Speech. As a number of people speak any dialect, such evidence is typically not used to provide identification, unless the speaker is one of a small number of speakers (e.g., who said a particular sentence in a room containing four people). The most common use of such evidence is negative, (i.e., saying that particular speech is NOT the voice of a certain person on the basis of dialectal or sociolectal evidence). For example Labov and Harris (1994) describe the Prinzivalli case, in which Labov says that there was no doubt that Prinzivalli could not have made a bomb threat phone call because the bomb threat voice had an unmistakable New England (Boston area) accent, while Prinzivalli had an equally unmistakable New York City accent. The main problem was convincing the court of this. The evidence was accepted and Prinzivalli was acquitted. Of particular importance in evidence of this type is whether people can assume a dialect or accent that is not their own. There are recent examples of film actors, with expert coaching, producing convincing versions of accents not their own. Ash (1988) had Philadelphia speakers attempt to disguise their voices, but found that none of them could consistently disguise their vowels in such a way as to prevent their identification as Philadelphia speakers. It seems to be very difficult, but perhaps not impossible, to simulate another accent to a degree where it is accepted as native by experts.


At present there is a need for broad introductions to language and the law. While none is available to me at the time of writing, Gibbons (forthcoming) is in preparation, and there are unverified suggestions that a number of other texts are in preparation. The language and the law field may be about to experience more explosive growth.


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