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Title of the Research Project

Generic Integrity in Legal Discourse in Multilingual and Multicultural Contexts (GILD)


Objectives of the Research Project

This project investigated the generic integrity of legislative discourse constructed, interpreted and used in multilingual and multicultural legal contexts by analyzing internationally available multilingual corpora of international arbitration laws from a number of countries, including Brazil, the People's Republic of China, the Czech Republic, Demark, Finland, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Malaysia, and South Africa. The analysis investigated the linguistic and discoursal properties of various subsets of these corpora from different languages, language varieties, cultures and legal systems, focusing, in particular, on the nature and use of qualifications, specification of scope, all-inclusiveness, expressions of contingency, intertextuality and interdiscursivity, and degree of control and transparency.

The research had a threefold orientation: a contribution to basic knowledge of legal language seen from an international perspective, an underpinning for international policy, and a grounding for legal practice and legal practitioner training. Such a contrastive/comparative multilingual typology of key instances and key textualizations, supported by explanatory commentary, will serve as a very valuable aid to the translator, to the legislator and the lawyer, and, ultimately, to the parties entering into such contracts.

The project has been completed with the organization of an international conference on Law and Language in International Arbitration, in which more than 80 scholars from Law and Language, both from the academy and professional practice participated. Apart from different kinds of international cooperation, including mutual presentations and articles, the outcome of the project so far has been two books. In addition, two more edited volumes are in preparation. A special edition of the journal HERMES focusing on linguistic analysis is also in preparation. Besides these, a number of articles in journals have been published as well as specialist presentations at several international conferences.


Principal Investigator: Prof. Vijay K. Bhatia

Associate Investigator(s): Dr. King-kui Sin, Prof. Dhirendra K Srivastava 

External Investigator(s): Prof.  Christopher N. Candlin  (Macquarie University, Australia)


Project Results

Linguistic Insights, Vol. 6

Linguistic Insights, Vol. 23

Linguistic Insights, Vol. 64