Legal discourse across cultures and socio-pragmatic contexts

Vijay K. Bhatia, Aditi Bhatia

Research output: Journal article publicationJournal articleAcademic researchpeer-review

22 Citations (Scopus)


Much of the work on legal discourse has focused on its construction, interpretation, and use with particular emphasis on either language or legal content; however, very little attention is paid to context, both socio-political as well as cross-cultural, although all forms of legal discourse, spoken as well as written, are applied and interpreted in the context of what Scollon refers to as 'sites of engagement'. Drawing on a number of legal contexts, this paper will attempt to illustrate that interpretations of legal discourse invariably depend on the context of socio-pragmatic realities to which a particular instance of legal discourse applies, and hence socio-political as well as cross-cultural factors have a crucial role to play in its interpretation.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)481-495
Number of pages15
JournalWorld Englishes
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2011
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Language and Linguistics
  • Anthropology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Linguistics and Language


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