Guest-Editors: Jennifer Smolka & Benedikt Pirker (University of Fribourg)
Based on a thematic area that examines empirical approaches in law and language studies, the present special section assembles three exemplary contributions outlining the possible dimensions of how empirical work can contribute to language and law. Some authors of these contributions explore cross-linguistic empirical work on communication between police and victims, witnesses and suspects, and the impact that linguistic and cultural differences can have; other authors utilise a corpus-based approach, which is combined with terminology studies to gain robust empirical data on terminological variation both within one language and inter-lingually; and yet other authors do experimental research, testing the claims of different theories on legal interpretation as to whether legal interpretation fundamentally differs from the ordinary understanding processes of language. These contributions thus illustrate the various ways in which all of these lines of research are able to complement existing research, open up new lines of inquiry and question or confirm existing assumptions.
Introduction: The Contribution of Empirical Approaches to Law and Language Studies - Jennifer Smolka & Benedikt Pirker
From the Crime Scene to the Language Lab and Back: Cross-linguistic Empirical Research on Language and the Law and its Practical Applications - Luna Filipović
When Lawyers Are More Logical Than Ordinary Speakers and When They Are Not: An Empirical Enquiry into Laypersons' and Legal Experts' Understanding of Pragmatic Meanings - Filippo Domaneschi, Francesca Poggi & Eleonora Marocchini
A Corpus-Based Approach to Examining Terminological Variation in EU Law - Edward Clay