Linguistische Praxis und Popularisierung von fachlichem Wissen im Rechtsbereich / Linguistic practice and popularization of knowledge mediation in the field of Law

  • Engberg, Jan (Participant)
  • Heller, Dorothee (Participant)
  • Carobbio, Gabriella (Participant)

Project: Research

Project Details


The field of studying communication in law may be subsumed under the name of Legal Linguistics. Traditionally, this type of study of specialized communication has had its focus upon performative legal texts like contracts, statutes, judgments and trial communication (Engberg, 2013). Studies of legal texts have thus often been focused upon communicative acts that may be termed internal to the legal institutions (cf. Luttermann, 1996, Busse, 2000), i.e., such communicative acts that fulfil the core purposes of the legal institutions. However, especially in the field of science and technology beside the expert-expert communication also the communication of specialized topics between experts and non-experts has been a frequent object of study, especially under the headline of popularization or knowledge transfer (Calsamiglia & Van Dijk, 2004; Liebert, 2002; Niederhauser, 1999), both in traditional genres and, more recently, in new and Web 2.0 genres and modes. This has hardly been the case in the field of Legal Linguistics so far. The special characteristic of the legal field compared to other fields of specialized communication is that even the institution-internal communication has direct impact upon the lives of citizens outside the institutions, too: Statutes and contracts establish a legal framework that the citizens have to comply with, even if they do not understand these texts fully. Most studies of the intelligibility of legal texts have focused upon this aspect and thus on the aspect of achieving institution-internal communicative purposes. However, in a modern Western society also this type of state institutions have to think of other asymmetrical communicative purposes like informing citizens about the law and influencing their behavior (Engberg & Luttermann, 2014; Engberg, 2016), but also the purpose of mitigating the skeptical attitude of citizens towards the law and the legal institutions (Preite, 2013).
Effective start/end date29/03/2016 → …