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Implizitheit und Evidentialität vor Gericht: Zur forensischen Linguistik im heutigen Russland


Weiss, D (2010). Implizitheit und Evidentialität vor Gericht: Zur forensischen Linguistik im heutigen Russland. In: Mendoza, I; Reuther, T. Referate des XXXIV. Konstanzer Slavistischen Arbeitstreffens in Oldenburg, 22.-26. September 2008 und des XXXV. Konstanzer Slavistischen Arbeitstreffens in Salzburg, 21.-25. September 2009. München, D: Otto Sagner , 191-215.

Abstract

This study continues two previous articles on linguists’ expert opinions at contemporary Russian courts by the same author. It covers two topics: first, the legal treatment of implicit information encoded as presuppositions, implicatures, connotations and allusions („nameki”) including ironical undertones and sexual allusions with potentially offending effects, second, the impact of evidential and epistemical marking of assertions and their interplay with the freedom of the expression of meanings warranted by the Russian constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights. As for the first topic, presuppositions are the only kind of implicit information which is always unequivocally recoverable and therefore in principle punishable, if its contents violate provisions of Penal or Civil Law; for other types of implicit messages, this holds only in very specific contexts. The second topic requires a thorough investigation of the meaning of existing evidential and epistemic markers: such expressions as po-vidimomu, poxože, kažetsja, kak budto etc. should first be examined in detail, rather than mechanically be treated as markers of the speaker’s mere assumption and therefore be exempted from legal punishment, as is the practice at Russian courts. All this boils down to the conclusion that the functioning of evidential and epistemic utterancess has to be examined in context, e.g. as part of a whole chain of argumentation. Finally, Tarski’s distinction between correspondence truth and consensus truth is evoked: in an ideal world, only the latter would fall under the freedom of meaning and thus remain impunishable, whereas argumentations based on correspondence truth are always vulnerable in a law suit.

This study continues two previous articles on linguists’ expert opinions at contemporary Russian courts by the same author. It covers two topics: first, the legal treatment of implicit information encoded as presuppositions, implicatures, connotations and allusions („nameki”) including ironical undertones and sexual allusions with potentially offending effects, second, the impact of evidential and epistemical marking of assertions and their interplay with the freedom of the expression of meanings warranted by the Russian constitution and the European Convention of Human Rights. As for the first topic, presuppositions are the only kind of implicit information which is always unequivocally recoverable and therefore in principle punishable, if its contents violate provisions of Penal or Civil Law; for other types of implicit messages, this holds only in very specific contexts. The second topic requires a thorough investigation of the meaning of existing evidential and epistemic markers: such expressions as po-vidimomu, poxože, kažetsja, kak budto etc. should first be examined in detail, rather than mechanically be treated as markers of the speaker’s mere assumption and therefore be exempted from legal punishment, as is the practice at Russian courts. All this boils down to the conclusion that the functioning of evidential and epistemic utterancess has to be examined in context, e.g. as part of a whole chain of argumentation. Finally, Tarski’s distinction between correspondence truth and consensus truth is evoked: in an ideal world, only the latter would fall under the freedom of meaning and thus remain impunishable, whereas argumentations based on correspondence truth are always vulnerable in a law suit.

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Additional indexing

Item Type:Book Section, not refereed, original work
Communities & Collections:06 Faculty of Arts > Institute of Slavonic Studies
Dewey Decimal Classification:490 Other languages
410 Linguistics
Language:German
Date:2010
Deposited On:07 Feb 2011 07:23
Last Modified:05 Apr 2016 14:42
Publisher:Otto Sagner
Series Name:Wiener Slawistischer Almanach
Number:65
Number of Pages:25
ISSN:0258-6819
ISBN:978-3-86688-131-0

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