Legal pragmatics

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The chapter looks at two central pragmatic tools - speech act theory and the cooperative principle - and applies them to legal discourse. Speech act theory is applied mainly to spoken discourse especially in relation to the question-answer adjacency pair. Grice's cooperative principle is discussed principally in the context of legislative acts, in regard to the question whether the cooperative principle may be relevant in this specific case of legal texts. The cooperative principle is then extended to discuss silence in police and in counsel questioning, a discussion that also involves perlocutionary effect.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationResearch Handbook on Jurilinguistics
PublisherEdward Elgar Publishing Ltd.
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9781802207248
ISBN (Print)9781802207231
StatePublished - 13 Oct 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© The Editors and Contributors Severally 2023.


  • Adjacency pairs
  • Cooperative principle
  • Implicatures
  • Silence
  • Speech acts

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Social Sciences


Dive into the research topics of 'Legal pragmatics'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this