法律语言学导论 "Part 1: Introduction

Chapter 1: Introduction to Language and the Law随堂测验

1、The common law legal system is much older than the civil law legal system. (T/F)

2、Civil law can be traced back to the Twelve Tables in 5th century A.D. (T/F)

3、Many linguistic theories, such as discourse analysis, have been applied in the field of forensic linguistics. (T/F)

Chapter 1: Introduction to Language and the Law 单元测验

1、The most widespread system of law in the world is ______.
A、common law
B、civil law
C、religious law
D、both common law and civil law

2、Equity is a body of rules that developed in England separately from the “common law”, but it only exists in countries which follow the English common law tradition. (T/F)

3、Forensic linguistics does not cover the area of voice identification. (T/F)

4、Legal English is not English, since it differs from ordinary language in vocabulary, morphology, syntax, and semantics, as well as other linguistic features. (T/F)

5、Chinese law is a mixture of _______ and ________, i.e., a socialist legal system with Chinese characteristics.

Chapter 1: Introduction to Language and the Law 单元作业

1、What is the relationship between language and law?

Part 2: Origins

Chapter 2: Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Danes随堂测验

1、The word that comes from “know” is _____.

2、The Celtic languages left many traces in English. (T/F)

3、The Scandinavians borrowed from the Anglo-Saxon the most important legal word in the English languages: the word law itself. (T/F)

Chapter 2: Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Danes单元测验

1、The Britons seem to have expressed much of their law in legal sayings or maxims, which were in semi-poetic or rhetorical language, often held together by _______.

2、The Germanic invaders spoke closely related languages that came to form what we call ___________ or Old English.

3、The word ______ eventually began to refer to meetings to engage in pleading exercises and to argue hypothetical cases used in the English Inns of Court to train further barristers.

4、The influence extended to legal matters by the Roman church is the ___________.
A、Dane law
B、canon law
C、customary law
D、Common Law

5、Alliteration survived mainly in _______ ________ (something also called binomial expressions or repetitive word pairs).

Chapter 2: Celts, Anglo-Saxons, and Danes单元作业

1、What are the functions of alliteration and parallelism in legal English?

Part 2: Origins

Chapter 3: The Norman Conquest and the Rise of French随堂测验

1、Before William defeated the English king Harold at the Battle of Hastings, the English-speaking ruling class was largely supplanted by one that spoke ________.
B、Norman French

2、After the Normans arrived, the use of English rapidly declined. (T/F)

3、Speech in one language could be, and often was, written down in another. (T/F)

4、The King Henry V decided to have many of his official documents, including his own will, written in ________.

Chapter 3: The Norman Conquest and the Rise of French 单元测验

1、The main impact of the Norman Conquest on written legal language thus to replace ______ with _______.
A、Latin; English
B、French; English
C、English; Latin
D、French; Latin

2、Beginning in the 1280s and continuing through 1535, anonymous writers created reports of oral proceedings in court, which were compiled in the _________.
A、law reports
B、year books
C、Latin tract
D、Legal teaching material

3、The formalized phrases of Law French were regarded as a convenient shorthand for summarizing legal arguments on paper. (T/F)

4、________ was the language of the aristocracy, while ________ remained the language of the masses.

5、The Latin used by the legal profession was soon adapted to the needs of the English law. Eventually, it developed into something called ___________.

6、A substantive area of the law with a relatively high level of Latin vocabulary is __________.

7、People who speak more than one language often switch from one code to another, depending on the topic, context, or participants, which is called ___________.

Chapter 3: The Norman Conquest and the Rise of French单元作业

1、What characteristics and functions does Law French have?

2、Why did the previous lawyers need at least a working knowledge of all three languages?

Part 2: Origins

Chapter 4: The Resurgence of English随堂测验

1、In Anglo-Saxon England, legal language was almost entirely oral; any writing was simply a record or evidence of the spoken event. (T/F)

2、Gradually, reports of court proceedings revealed a growing emphasis on the arguments of the lawyers, and less on what the judge said. (T/F)

3、The written legislation was viewed primarily as a report of an oral proceeding. (T/F)

4、An important characteristic of legal documents that function as reports of oral proceedings is that they are generally written by an observer rather than the participants. (T/F)

Chapter 4: The Resurgence of English单元测验

1、Much like today’s digests, the _______ consisted of alphabetical headings, followed by synopses of cases dealing with that topic.
C、case reports
D、year books

2、The lawyers use _________ to make self-interest to keep legal prose unreadable.
A、plain meaning role
B、conspiracy theory
C、the doctrine of precedent
D、plain language role

3、Early American documents are replete with long _________.
A、conjoined phrases
B、archaic vocabulary
C、exceptions within exceptions
D、convoluted syntax

4、With the development of the ________________, which largely prohibited introduction of evidence of oral discussions regarding the content of the document, this evolution was complete.

5、The __________ were compiled by “reporters” in the literal sense of the word: they simply reported speech in the courtroom, including questions of judges and argument of counsel.

Chapter 4: The Resurgence of English单元作业

1、What do you think of the doctrine of precedent?

Part 3: The Nature of Legal Language

Chapter 5: Talking Like a Lawyer随堂测验

1、Given any sentence of the language, it is always possible to form a sentence that is longer, which is called _______.

2、Lawyers use language to set themselves apart from the mass of the population and to create group cohesion.

3、Lawyers are immune to trendiness and a desire to conform.

4、Though many lawyers strive for the Classical pronunciation of Latin, Law French is decreasingly pronounced as modern French.

5、When judges use we, it refers to that they merely want to illustrate their judicial opinions in courts.

Chapter 5: Talking Like a Lawyer单元测验

1、How does the lawyers in the United States pronounce the “defendant”?
A、de fendant
B、defend ant
C、defen dant
D、defen dant

2、Some characteristics of “talking like a lawyer” or writing like one can be best described as matters of _______.

3、A standard provision that is routinely added to a particularly type of document is called ________.
D、case reports

4、Legal language often uses the order ___________.

5、The normal rule with a series of three or more items is to place a comma before the conjunction.

6、The stylistic choice is merely a matter of habit, because this is how lawyers traditionally speak or write.

7、The long sentences and complex sentences have many ________ and _______ phrases.

Chapter 5: Talking Like a Lawyer单元测验

1、Summarize the features of the language of a lawyer.

2、Do you think whether law students should learn how to “talk like a lawyer” to imitate older practitioners?

Part 3: The Nature of Legal Language

Chapter 6: The Quest for Precision随堂测验

1、The legendary precision of Law French was one of the main justifications for keeping it alive long after the royal household itself had switched to English.

2、In legal language, the masculine gender will just include the feminine.

3、Reasonable can be regarded as a general word in legal language.

Chapter 6: The Quest for Precision单元测验

1、Passives are less common in _______.
C、criminal law
D、common law

2、The present tense shall include the future, and sometimes the past, and the singular shall include the plural, and vice versa.

3、The function of de-emphasizing the actor may explain why passives are common in statutes and court orders.

4、Another syntactic device, like passive constructions, also can have the effect of de-emphasizing or obscuring the identity of the actor. This is the phenomenon of ____________.

5、Many states have abandoned the statutory list approach and adopted the general and more flexible ____________________, which simply requires that the trustee act like a prudent investor.

Chapter 6: The Quest for Precision单元作业

1、How does the legislators and lawyers try to achieve the rhetorical force?

Part 3: The Nature of Legal Language

Chapter 7: The Legal Lexicon随堂测验

1、One of the main justifications for continued use of antiquated vocabulary is that it is more precise than the modern equivalent.

2、A related reason for not modernizing archaic legal texts is that specific words and phrases may have received authoritative interpretations over the years.

3、As in the courtroom, the most formal or ritualistic parts of a legal document or speech event only tend to occur at the start.

4、Private legal documents may be quite formal in tone.

5、At the same time and in the same place, lawyers use legal terminology in the same ways.

Chapter 7: The Legal Lexicon单元测验

1、As in the courtroom, formal and ritualistic language in wills and similar documents can signal to the parties that this is a legal act with significant consequences. Some scholars have called this the _______.
A、testamentary intent
B、cautionary function
C、ritual function

2、Taking and regulation are the _______.

3、What are the main sources of law for the legal profession?
C、judicial opinions
D、case reports

4、The legal profession’s long retention of said, aforesaid, same and such cannot be justified as adding precision or clarity to the text.

5、The phrase __________ served as a marker that what followed was not the formulaic language of the writ, but individualized details of this specific complaint.

6、One type of subjunctive is a construction called the __________________, which involves use of a verb in its base formant conveys roughly the same meaning as let or may.

7、The _______________ would suggest that lawyers employ highly stilted, formal and redundant legal prose to create the impression that drafting legal documents is far more complex than it really is.

Chapter 7: The Legal Lexicon单元作业

1、Is it necessary to use archaic vocabularies in legal language? Why?

Part 3: The Nature of Legal Language

Chapter 8: Interpretation and Meaning随堂测验

1、A legislature does have the authority to declare that a specific term used in a piece of legislation shall be understood in a particular way.

2、Declaratory definitions can maximize problems caused by overly vague or flexible terms.

3、An American statute defines an employer as a person ... who has fourteen or more employees.

4、Despite its prominence in ordinary communication, the role of the speaker’s meaning is a problematic issue in legal interpretation.

5、Written language is more autonomous than spoken language.

Chapter 8: Interpretation and Meaning单元测验

1、Declaratory definitions may promote precision by making explicit which of various possible meanings a word has in a particular legal document.

2、Referential descriptions seem to be lost inherent in public laws, which should apply evenly throughout the population.

3、The collective authorship makes the legal interpretation place more emphasis on the speaker’s actual meaning.

4、_____________________ do not state that a term means this or that, but that it includes the listed items.

5、The general principle is undercut by severe limitations on the use of any evidence other than the words of the document itself, primarily imposed by the ______ ______________.

6、_________ claims that it does try to discover the intent of the legislature, but limits this inquiry to the text of the statute itself.

Chapter 8: Interpretation and Meaning单元作业

1、In your opinions, when and to what extent, in America courts, judges should consider legislative intent (the speaker’s meaning) when interpreting statutes.

Part 3: The Nature of Legal Language

Chapter 9: Variation随堂测验

1、One reason that legal English differs from place to place is that it may have to deal with indigenous laws and customs.

2、Expository documents have not only very formal and formulaic legal language, but they traditionally adhere to a very rigid structure.

3、Judicial opinions are expository, to some extent that the judge expresses what the law is.

Chapter 9: Variation单元测验

1、Which of the following are the methods to shorten terms: _____.

2、While some slang is known by the entire speech community, social subgroups often have their own slang, which promotes group solidarity and makes it harder for outsiders to understand certain topics.

3、Since the persuasive documents do use fairly formal standard English, they tend to be especially formulaic or legalistic in language.

4、________________ resembles the language of telegrams, in which clients pay per word and have a strong incentive to leave out any excess or predictable verbiage.

5、_____________ is a language used in a body of texts dealing with a circumscribed subject area ... in which the authors of the documents share a common vocabulary and common habits of word usage.

Chapter 9: Variation单元作业

1、Illustrate the differences between operative documents, expository documents and persuasive documents.

Part 4: In the Courtroom

Chapter 10: Pleadings: Constructing the Legal Narrative随堂测验

1、A lawsuit typically begins after a series of events has caused something wrong or illegal to happen to someone, and for which the injured person seeks a remedy.

2、Often the tentative nature of the complaint is avoidable because the plaintiff may know what exactly happened.

3、The pleading that contains the plaintiff’s story is typically called the _________, at least in civil cases.

Chapter 10: Pleadings: Constructing the Legal Narrative单元测验

1、Pleaders were known as _____, and the narratives that they told were called _____.
A、counts; counters
B、plaintiffs; counts
C、counters; counts
D、plaintiffs; counters

2、An ordinary story is normally alleged as truth; in a contrast, the story told in a complaint is asserted to be true.

3、The basic structure of pleadings has been a fairly constant element of trials for many hundred years.

Chapter 10: Pleadings: Constructing the Legal Narrative

1、In what ways can the defendant respond to the complaint?

Part 4: In the Courtroom

Chapter 11: Testimony and Truth随堂测验

1、In the American system there are extensive proceedings before trial during which each side has the right to obtain information about the mother's case, a process called______.

2、Witness are usually not permitted to testify in narrative form.

3、The “conversation” between the lawyer and witness is also unusual in that it consists of virtually nothing but questions and answers.

4、During the late Middle Age, English lawyers engaged in ____________ between Latin, Law French, and English.

Chapter 11: Testimony and Truth单元测验

1、Taking live testimony of potential witnesses is called ______; posing written questions is called _______; obtaining documentary evidence is called ______.
A、depositions; interrogatories; request for documents
B、interrogatories; depositions; request for documents
C、interrogatories; request for documents; depositions
D、depositions; request for documents; interrogatories

2、Lawyers and other participants use a range of language varieties in court, including ________.
A、formal legal language
B、standard English
C、colloquial English
D、local dialect

3、The characteristics of a powerless style include ______.
A、abundant use of hedges
B、hesitation forms
C、question intonation

4、Not only do cross-examiners aim to muddy the message, but they may also try to drag the messages through the mud by assailing their credibility or even accusing them of lying.

5、In criminal proceedings the settlement negotiations are known as ____________.

6、A _______ _______ suggests that there is only one correct answer, and in essence tries to “lead” the witness to that answer.

Chapter 11: Testimony and Truth单元作业

1、What features do the various questions of lawyers respectively have? Why do lawyers maintain rigid control over their questioning?

Part 4: In the Courtroom

Chapter 12: Completing the Story随堂测验

1、Trial manuals almost universally recommend avoiding excessively formal or legalistic speech in summation.

2、In most American states, the bulk of the instructions are drafted individually for each case.

3、After the lawyers have produced evidence to prove or negate the plaintiff’s story, they make their summation or ______ _________.

Chapter 12: Completing the Story单元测验

1、Since a common device in closing is the use of rhetorical questions, summation should ask questions.

2、Jurors are thus like witnesses who are asked relatively coercive questions: they are allowed only two choices: guilty or not guilty.

3、The jury must decide whether the story is legally adequate. Judges tell the jury how to go about this task by means of ____ _________.

4、To save time and to reduce the possibility of legal error, most states now use what are called standard or _______________.

Chapter 12: Completing the Story单元作业

1、Please illustrate some persuasive strategies in courtroom.

Part 5: Reforming the Language of the Law

Chapter 13: What Makes Legal Language Difficult to Understand?随堂测验

1、The archaic use of do (as in I do appoint) is almost always necessary in legal language and may suggest emphasis to someone untrained in the law.

2、Nominalization is usually more difficult to process than their corresponding verb forms.

3、Consumer legal documents are notorious not only for poor organization, but also for burying critical contract terms in the smaller type.

Chapter 13: What Makes Legal Language Difficult to Understand?单元测验

1、Impersonal phrases imposing obligation are less comprehensible than expressions with a pronoun.

2、Nominalization is usually more difficult to process than their corresponding verb forms.

3、The complexity of sentences is mainly related to the length of sentences.

4、The basic sentence type, containing a subject, passive verb and object, is easiest foe people to process.

Chapter 13: What Makes Legal Language Difficult to Understand?单元作业

1、What makes legal language difficult to understand?

2、Summarize the strategies to promote clarity of legal language.

Part 5: Reforming the Language of the Law

Chapter 14: Plain English随堂测验

1、It is hardly a radical proposal that the public should be able to consult statutes directly, rather than having to engage the services of a professional interpreter.

2、In the Anglo-American system, understanding a statute typically is not quite necessary to be familiar to the cases that have interpreted the language of the statute, often in idiosyncratic ways.

3、Plain legal English may make lawyers superfluous.

4、There is a direct relationship between the number of syllables in a word and comprehensibility.

5、How well a complicated concept being explained cannot be measured.

Chapter 14: Plain English单元测验

1、The average person, untrained in the law, will probably never be able to fully understand most statutes, no matter how plain the language.

2、Even though many lawyers espouse plain language in theory, they seem reluctant to change their style in practice.

3、The United States seems more willing to depend more on education and encourage voluntary measures, while other counties tend to enact legislation requiring private parties to use plain language.

4、How well the general approach works depends entirely on the skill and the good will of those who must carry it out.

5、Recent, almost all jurisdictions these days have headings on their statutes, employ ________ and _______ to divide statutes into sections and subsections, and make ample use of lists.

6、As opposed to the general approach, the ________________ gives drafters some concrete guidance.

7、What desire to quickly and cheaply evaluate the language of legal documents has produced an alternative: what can be called the ________________.

Chapter 14: Plain English单元作业

1、What are your opinions about the Plain English Movement?

Part 5: Reforming the Language of the Law

Chapter 15: Communicating with the Jury随堂测验

1、Sometimes jury instructions often leave many jurors confused and frustrated.

2、The jury is able to understand the meaning of terms in legal sense.

3、There have been dozens of people who have been condemned to die by juries who poorly understand the legal principle that were supposed to guide their decision.

Chapter 15: Communicating with the Jury单元测验

1、The only way to suitably guide the discretion of the jury is by having the judge properly instruct them.

2、Just as legal language consists of more than technical terminology, the problem with jury instructions transcends vocabulary.

3、The court’s primary rationale was that the instructions were complex not just because of language, but because of their complex content, making them hard to master on first exposure, and perhaps too difficult for jurors to understand at all.

4、When the jury is given some guidance on how to decide the defendant’s fate, it has a serious flaw: its reliance on the technical terms __________ and _________.

Chapter 15: Communicating with the Jury单元作业

1、What are the differences between the aggravating and mitigating circumstances?



1、1. What is the nature of legal language? 2. How is legal English different from general English? What makes legal language difficult to understand? 3.What is forensic linguistics? 4. After taking this course, how much do you know legal language or language and law? What is the relationship between language and law? 5. What are your opinions about the Plain English Movement? Write an essay to discuss those questions or choose one topic to illustrate your opinions with at least 3500 words in Chinese, or 2000 words in English. Please respect intellectual property rights of the others.