Thinking like a linguist (some news)

I have two pieces of news I want to share.

First, I am very excited to say that I have received an appointment by the Georgetown University Law Center (aka Georgetown Law) as a Dean’s Visiting Scholar.

That appointment will provide me with a platform from which I’ll continue and expand on the kind of work that I’ve been doing here at LAWnLinguistics, in the amicus briefs in which I’ve drawn on linguistics, and in my paper A Lawyer’s Introduction to Meaning in the Framework of Corpus Linguistics: developing and promoting the idea that part of what it means to think like a lawyer is learning how to think like a linguist.

I will be continuing to write about law and linguistics, hopefully at an accelerated pace. I will continue to pay substantial attention to corpus linguistics, since that’s an area that has attracted increasing attention over the past few months. Although the specifics haven’t been worked out yet, I’ll hopefully have an opportunity to give presentations about my work to interested faculty members and students, and am looking forward to getting their feedback. And I also plan to take the show on the road and give talks about law and linguistics at other law schools, at law firms and other litigating entities, at professional organizations such as bar groups and inns of court, and if all goes well, at functions at which the audience includes judges. (If your firm or a group you belong to might be interested in hearing from me, get in touch.)

I want to thank Georgetown Law for giving me this opportunity, and thanks are due in particular to John Mikhail and Larry Solum.

My second piece of news is something that you might already be aware of. A few weeks ago I was invited to become a regular contributor to Language Log, and you can rest assured that I didn’t have to consider the invitation for long before accepting it. In addition to writing posts that are intended only for Language Log, I will be writing some pieces that I will post there as well as here. The first such piece will be a response to recent commentary by Stanley Fish, in which he argues that corpus linguistics cannot possibly be of any use in legal interpretation. So watch for that, either here or at Language Log—or better yet, here and there.


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