The Language of Defamation Cases

The Language of Defamation Cases

The Language of Defamation Cases

The Language of Defamation Cases

Synopsis

Slander and libel cases are largely about how one party uses language in ways that are claimed to defame one another. Linguistic expertise can be central to the case. In The Language of Defamation Cases, Roger W. Shuy describes eleven representative lawsuits - involving newspapers, television stations, religious leaders, physicians, teachers, entertainers, unions, insurance companies, and manufacturers - for which he served as a consultant. Shuy's linguistic analysis illustrates how grammatical referencing, speech acts, discourse structure, framing, conveyed meaning, intentionality, and malicious language affected the outcome of these cases. The Language of Defamation Cases shows how linguistics can be used to help resolve libel and slander cases. It will appeal to students and scholars of applied linguistics and forensic linguistics.

Excerpt

Slander and libel cases are largely about the way one entity or individual uses language in ways that are claimed to defame another. Since linguists are specialists in language, their expertise can be central to the analysis of the spoken or written material that caused the controversy in the first place. This book illustrates eleven representative lawsuits involving newspapers, television stations, religious leaders, physicians, teachers, entertainers, unions, insurance companies, and manufacturers. Linguistic analysis of grammatical referencing, speech acts, discourse structure, framing, conveyed meaning, intentionality, and malicious language play an important role in the outcomes of these cases.

At the beginning it should be made clear that this book is neither a treatise on defamation law nor an introduction to linguistics. Instead, it shows some the ways that linguistics can be used to help lawyers resolve conflicts that occur in one area of the legal context—libel and slander. In that sense, it is applied linguistics. In another sense, it can . . .

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