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Department
English
Course
ENGL 210I
Professor
Nadine Gingrich
Semester
Summer

Description
Sept 10/2012 1) Language Evolves It isn’t interpreted The law never stays static or still Language evolves to attend human needs Language changes through use 2) Language Changes We get rid of words when we no longer need them “Forgotten Language” Ex. Fishfag (a women who fags labour) Ex. Cucking Stool (an instrument of punishment) *when we no longer need words, we get rid of them* But we are constantly brining in new words Ex. Qwerty tummy (upset stomach from being on the computer too long) 3) Inventing Words We invent new words when we have a need for them No one can decree – language changes through use i.e. Academy in French – meant to keep their language and obey by the rules but it didn’t work –> i.e. can’t say le hot dog but people still did Feminists – tried to change language to make them more gender neutral (i.e. tey, co, e) but it didn’t work – what does this tell us? *Changes in language has to come through use* Language is Arbitrary No connection between the name and the thing we are referring to It is only through convention Language is Inherently Social We use language to make connections Slang terms used to indicate your place in the world Ex. speaking with a group of friends in a different way than when speaking with your grandma or family Language is Ideological We pick up through language Understandings of the world We make language through context (i.e. bow example) Word Magic Naming can give us power over things; you can contain something by knowing the name of it (i.e. prof’s sons example – not knowing what was growing on his foot but relief was given once one doctor was able to identify it) The power it has to create a spell Weaving of spells (i.e. in Harry Potter you have to get the words right) Sept 14 Examples of the power of Language Citizens willing to be burned at stake in order to maintain the sacred text (i.e. the Bible) in Hebrew times Emperor’s of Rome shut down schools because they didn’t want people to speak out against them Example 1. The bandage was wound around the wound ** - the importance of context Headline Writers Eye drops off shelf Chef throws heart into helping needy *the importance of context Verbs vs. adjectives – synonyms don’t always have the exact meaning. No true synonyms? “Master of All Masters” By forcing the girl to accept his wording, he has power over her His wording was arbitrary Ideological assumption that there is a hierarchy between the master and the slave girl, being enacted by his language “you must call me master of all masters” Language gives us power over things; we can classify things – we feel superior because we now know what it is “we always have linguistic choice” Same word, same meaning -> different words, different meanings Sept 17/12 “Our law is a law of words” law comes to being through language legal language is not monolithic – not just one form (i.e. there are statutes and judicial writings) legal language is made up of ordinary language Legal language includes: syntac, vocab, style i.e. actually meaning “and”  Multiplying words – stringing together that mean the same thing  Plural of governor general : governors general  Power of language: if you’re declared guilty or a dangerous offender, you ARE guilty or a dangerous offender Word Magic in Legal Language:  Element of magic in words – repeating words – legal magic in words  If you change something then you are going to change the word Jargon is language used by peers to discuss something but when used with people who don’t understand, it creates a barrier; i.e. lawyers taking power by using legal jargon Legal Language involves: science and religion Note: Missing Notes from September 19 Note: Sept 21 was a group discussion/assignment Sept 24, 2012 “Rhetoric”  In politics, it’s used in a negative way; there’s no substance, just fluffy words because there’s no substance Aristotle: “let rhetoric be defined as an ability, in each particular case, to see the available means of persuasion Kenneth Burke: the basic function of rhetoric Hauser: It’s language used for a particular reason – it’s not poetic; it’s a way of creating as well as evaluating and assessing texts BCE – Greek Time  Greeks believed strongly in oral communication  “Sophists” – negative connotation  “wisdom or skill” – they said we can teach you how to be good orators  Greeks emphasized the oral delivery of a person even though they had writings at the time  Most of what the Greeks did was oral  You should be able to argue anything from both sides – i.e. death is good for the undertaker but bad for the people *Greeks should be able to argue from both sides” Sophists believed we only had opinions and no transcendent truth. Plato disagreed; he believed there IS universal truth. He believed in a dialectic model “rhetoric” at its best it can be used to give out a kind of truth, once found, but can never get to that truth. Aristotle (student of Plato)  Rhetoric would get things done in a civil society  Aristotle’s main contributions are his three modes of persuasion Three Modes of Persuasion: 1) LOGOS  Appeal based on words; NOT LOGIC  Based on GOOD REASON 2) ETHOS  ***most important is ETHOS****  Dealing with character  How do you prove that you are a “good person”  You have to give good reasons  Reason, will, character 3) PATHOS  “emotions”  “states of mind”  I.e. presidential election – Romney vs. Obama – no more Obama - waste of taxpayers money 1. Forensic – legal (back to past) 2. Deliberate – political (looks to the future) 3. Epideictic – present *Aristotle thought 3)*Epideictic was all about praise and censure** Romans adopted Greek Rhetoric  More pragmatic  Good at building warfare- they didn’t like Aristotle's rhetoric  Came down to forensic  Wisdom and eloquence With the rise of Post-Modernism, rhetoric has returned (Disappeared for some time) *Laws are contingent on many things, not on certainty* Athens  Having to understand both sides of a case  Facts don’t speak for themselves – you have to present them Sept 26/12 Eulogy To make us celebrate that person’s life To say goodbye; to respect them Things that are inappropriate to mention: i.e. flaws Communicative purposes Setting or context in which they’re employed Relationship between people and background knowledge Genres o Genres help give meta-information (tells you what you can and cannot expect) o “Meta- Information” – i.e. Jackass II film o Genre rules enable us by giving up that info (i.e. this is what’s in a novel, in a letter ect). Legal Documents:  Must use certain forms  Genres provide a coating template  Tiersma breaks legal language into 3 basic groups: 1) Operative 2) Expository 3) Persuasive 1) Operative Create or modify legal relations Wills, statutes, contracts They tell you what you have to do Tend to have a rigid structure Use formal or formulaic structure 2) Expository Documents that explore points of law Objective i.e. client letter – using formal style 3) Persuasive Factums, briefs, opening statements, closing arguments Not written genres but nonetheless are still genres Genres outside of the legal words are only stable for a moment (i.e. eulogies – ex. Justin Trudeau’s eulogy to his father was done by him and not by the clerk – different than custom) Form is very important to legal language – unspoken ways of performing certain actions* Sept 28/2012 Discourse  Force and effect within a social context Foucault  “A discourse doesn’t exist in any physical form”  Discourse is a virtual context. Meaning? Discourse = structures the way people think  Language used in discourse reflects and shapes social order  Discourse analysis – an attempt to look at the discourse to get behind the words  Not just looking at the content but at all 3 and how they work together Questions: Who gets to speak Who is obliged to speak Who is allowed to listen Who controls the agenda Who controls the dimensions Are we obligated to use certain models What topics are allowed? Ex. – Courtroom  Who has the most power? The judge?  Who can speak whenever they want? Witnesses can only speak when spoken to  What about the jury? Appear to be relatively powerless  What discursive powers do judges have? They maintain power in the courtroom; they control speaking out of term (i.e. contempt of the court, police)  In preliminary hearings – the judge decides what cases to be heard  Judges can strike down laws (Harper doesn’t approve, he wants the government to have that power – he doesn’t like Supreme Court judges deciding things that affect parliament) Discourse Community  Groups of people who share language practises (i.e. stylistic)  Stylistic feature Conventions - > regulate social interaction – discourse communities don’t allo communication face to face Rhetoric Features  The way arguments are structured Where do people go to communicate? Legal Realms of Discourse Examples of forum(a):  Law society of upper Canada – publications  Court – opinions  Canadian Gazette  Law school  Memo banks + internet sites  Media  Statutes – case law *All of these are included in the legal discourse* Rhetoric, Genre and Discourse will all be used when analyzing a text* Rhetoric – modes of persuasion; audience Genre – concerned with form October 1, 2012 Argumentation Logos  Not formal logic but rather words and good reasons  Xeno – formal logic is a closed fist but rhetoric is an open hand (he was a philosopher)  A few philosophers used legal reasoning as their model for informal logic  *formal logic doesn’t work In this context* Formal Language [Demonstration] Deals with signs or words – meaning of which has already been fixed/established (it’s closed, uses terms that have a fixed meaning i.e. x can never be anything other than x)  Conclusions are either valid or invalid, you can’t argue them Argumentation  “language of everyday”  Words can have lots of different meaning in different contexts  Not a necessary and established relation  Never entirely establish, stable or fixed  Conclusions work in a continuum (no valid or invalid), they depend very much on the audience Toolman: “In order to make a claim, we need some sort of grounds (reason) to make that claim. For example: “he’s a pedophile (grounds); he will reoffend (claim)” So what? We need some sort of warrant: Example, studies or cases to validate Warrants are often implicit, not stated exactly Rebuttal: something that might go against the claim Toolman’s model valid in the contingent world: the problem with Toolman’s model? It is hard to do an analysis for every part of the text; a claim in one section can become the data in the next (i.e. because he will probably reoffend/since he will reoffend) Perelman  Contributions to argumentation  Looks at legal reasoning and ended up back with rhetoric  Types of argument: 1. Argument by generalisation: Common way to make arguments Seen often in writing that has to do with legal issues Problem? The sample has to be large enough 2. Cause and effect Argumentation Example, people want to believe marijuana leads to other kinds of drugs Example, political speeches 3. Sign “where there’s smoke there’s fire” 4. Argument from Authority One of the most important ways to argue through legal reasoning Speaking from authority Problems? People sometimes forget to question authority 5. Definition Imperative in legal writing Have to be careful Legal definition are pre-scripted Ex. homosexual marriage example 6. Analogy Comparing or understanding something in terms of another Note: Missing notes from Oct 3, 2012 Oct 5, 2012 Status Theory  Roman’s took an aspect fr
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