1st Edition

Legal Lexicography
A Comparative Perspective

ISBN 9781138700772
Published January 11, 2017 by Routledge
360 Pages

USD $59.95

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Book Description

Legal lexicography or jurilexicography is the most neglected aspect of the discipline of jurilinguistics, despite its great relevance for translators, academics and comparative lawyers. This volume seeks to bridge this gap in legal literature by bringing together contributions from ten jurisdictions from leading experts in the field. The work addresses aspects of legal lexicography, both monolingual and bilingual, in its various manifestations in both civilian and common law systems. It thus compares epistemic approaches in a subject that is inextricably bound up with specific legal systems and specific languages. Topics covered include the history of French legal lexicography, ordinary language as defined by the courts, the use of law dictionaries by the judiciary, legal lexicography and translation, and a proposed multilingual dictionary for the EU citizen. While the majority of contributions are in English, the volume includes three written in French. The collection will be a valuable resource for both scholars and practitioners engaging with language in the mechanism of the law.

Table of Contents

Contents: Foreword, Lionel Smith; Introduction; A view of French legal lexicography - tradition and change from a doctrinal genre to the modern era, Pierre-Nicolas Barenot; The Early Modern English law lexicon, Ian Lancashire and Janet Damianopoulos; Legal lexicography: a view from the front lines, Bryan A. Garner; The challenges of compiling a legal dictionary, Daniel Greenberg; Bilingual legal dictionaries: comparison without precision?, Coen J.P. van Laer; Pour des dictionnaires juridiques multilingues du citoyen de l’Union européenne, Pierre Lerat; Principes terminologiques pour la constitution d’une base de données pour la traduction juridique, Thierry Grass; Translation and the law dictionary, Marta Chroma; Multinational legal terminology in a paper dictionary?, Peter Sandrini; Database of legal terms for communicative and knowledge information tools, Sandro Nielsen; Defining ordinary words for mundane objects: legal lexicography, ordinary language and the word vehicle, Christopher Hutton; Establishing meaning in a bilingual and bijural context: dictionary use at the Supreme Court of Canada, Mathieu Devinat; La phraséologie chez des jurilexicographes: les exemples linguistiques dans la deuxième édition du Dictionnaire de droit privé et lexiques bilingues, Patrick Forget; Inconsistencies in the sources and use of Irish legal terminology, Malachy O'Rourke; The struggle for civic space between a minority legal language and a dominant legal language: the case of Maori and English, Mamari Stephens and Mary Boyce; Index for English language chapters; Index for French language chapters.

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Máirtín Mac Aodha currently works as a lawyer-linguist (working largely with the Irish language) at the Council of the European Union. From 2009 to 2012 he was employed as a legal reviser in the Legal Service of the European Commission. He is carrying out doctoral research at the Université de Strasbourg on the law dictionary and how it can be improved from the translator's point of view. He spent three years as a visiting scholar and researcher at the Quebec Research Centre of Private and Comparative Law, McGill University. He is the editor of the fourth edition of the Dictionnaire de maximes et locutions latines utilisées en droit. His research and publications are in the field of jurilinguistics.


’A reference book about legal lexicography was long overdue. With contributions by a number of highly respected experts in the field, this ground-breaking volume places equal emphasis on theory and practice and covers every aspect of the subject (lexicography and translation, monolingual and bilingual dictionaries, etc.), without neglecting the historical perspective. It will prove invaluable to legal translators, lexicographers and lawyers alike.’ Frédéric Houbert, freelance legal translator ’Since Antiquity, legal glossaries and dictionaries have been compiled but seldom analysed. This versatile book fills the gap. It is most useful not only for the professionals of lexicography and terminology work, but also for all lawyers who want to know better the relevant sources of lexical information in their field.’ Heikki E.S. Mattila, University of Lapland, Finland ’This important work on the connections between legal vocabulary and legal culture is a welcome addition to the literature in the growing field of jurilingistics, a practical and theoretical discipline located at the confluence of law and language. An expert in legal translation and legal terminology who has worked in North America and Europe, editor Máirtín Mac Aodha presents a stimulating collection of essays from a wide range of common law and civil law jurisdictions that show how comparative law, legal history, legal traditions and multilingualism all inform the study of legal lexicography. As multilingual legal dictionaries are increasingly relied upon as points of entry for an understanding of the world’s different legal systems, this book will be a source of insight and delight for lawyers, judges, translators, linguists and comparative law scholars working anywhere that law and languages interact.’ Nicholas Kasirer, Justice of the Quebec Court of Appeal, Canada 'The study of law often starts with a dictionary. Better law dictionaries provide substantial insight into the rela