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Ordinary Meaning – A Theory of the Most Fundamental Principle of Legal Interpretation - Chicago Scholarship Online
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Ordinary Meaning: A Theory of the Most Fundamental Principle of Legal Interpretation

Brian G. Slocum


There is a long-standing judicial commitment to interpreting language in legal texts according to its ‘ordinary meaning’. That is, courts have uniformly agreed that words in legal texts should be interpreted in light of accepted standards of communication. The constituent question of what makes some meaning the ordinary one and the evidential question of how the determinants of ordinary meaning are identified and conceptualized are thus of crucial importance to the interpretation of legal texts. This book provides a theory that answers the constituent question and a general framework for how t ... More

Keywords: ordinary meaning, context, legal interpretation, semantic meaning, interpreter discretion, systematicities of language

Bibliographic Information

Print publication date: 2015 Print ISBN-13: 9780226304854
Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: May 2016 DOI:10.7208/chicago/9780226304991.001.0001


Affiliations are at time of print publication.

Brian G. Slocum, author
University of the Pacific