Legal lexicography

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Legal lexicography is a term used to describe the complex of activities that are concerned with the design, compilation, use and evaluation of dictionaries within the field of law.

As a branch of the general discipline lexicography, legal lexicography may be divided into theoretical legal lexicography and practical legal lexicography. The result of practical legal lexicography is called a law dictionary.

Legal lexicography is not just about terms, but also about language and usage. Especially when making bilingual law dictionaries, the lexicographers need to take a broad view of what legal lexicography involves. Most users of bilingual law dictionaries need information about language and law, and the lexicographer's task is to present the information as clearly and structured as possible. This involves various lexicographic analyses: user research, dictionary typology, and a clear structure for presenting and linking the information in the dictionary. The information must be presented in such a way that the user is not burdened with heavy lexicographic information costs.

The aim of legal lexicography is to sugest principles and strategies that lead to good law dictionaries. A good monolingual law dictionary will contain relevant terms with appropriate definitions, and if the purpose of the dictionary is to facilitate legal translation, e.g. a bilingual law dictionary, it will contain definitions, translation equivalents and other relevant information such as collocation and phrases in the source language and in the target language.

[edit] Relevant literature

  • Sandro Nielsen: The Bilingual LSP Dictionary. Principles and Practice for Legal Language. Gunter Narr Verlag 1994.

[edit] External links

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