A critical look at the Textual Side of Court Verdicts Through the Gricean lens

  • Ahmed S
  • et al.
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This paper focuses on the specific linguistic manner that is invariably employed by the writers of court verdicts around the world. The researchers put forth an analysis of the language features adopted in writing judicial rulings through the Gricean Maxim of Manner. With a view to demystify the language of court judgements, this paper highlights the importance of employing the Gricean Maxim of Manner as a guiding principle for writing court verdicts in order to make these documents decipherable, particularly for a layman who is not equipped with specific knowledge of vocabulary and structure used in court verdicts. It is an attempt to clarify the language features of randomly selected court verdicts in juxtaposition with the Gricean Maxim of Manner, and to show how the violation of this maxim plagues these verdicts with unnecessary obscurity and prolixity of language expressions. The essential complexity of the text of these verdicts stems mainly from an excessive dependence on legalism, archaism, redundancy of expression and a baffling prolix sentence construction. As there seems to be a lack of serious attention given to the language of court verdicts, it is timely that the linguistic aspect of court judgements be investigated. The paper is based on the premise that a close compliance with the Gricean Maxim of Manner can help simplify the text of court verdicts making it easier to be understood by a layperson.




Ahmed, S., & Habil, H. (2019). A critical look at the Textual Side of Court Verdicts Through the Gricean lens. International Journal of Recent Technology and Engineering (IJRTE), 8(4), 9239–9242. https://doi.org/10.35940/ijrte.d9253.118419

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