Publishing Partner: Cambridge University Press CUP Extra Publisher Login
amazon logo
More Info


New from Oxford University Press!

ad

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice

By Ingrid Piller

Linguistic Diversity and Social Justice "prompts thinking about linguistic disadvantage as a form of structural disadvantage that needs to be recognized and taken seriously."


New from Cambridge University Press!

ad

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach

By Rudolf Botha

Language Evolution: The Windows Approach addresses the question: "How can we unravel the evolution of language, given that there is no direct evidence about it?"


The LINGUIST List is dedicated to providing information on language and language analysis, and to providing the discipline of linguistics with the infrastructure necessary to function in the digital world. LINGUIST is a free resource, run by linguistics students and faculty, and supported primarily by your donations. Please support LINGUIST List during the 2016 Fund Drive.

Academic Paper


Title: The whole is sometimes less than the sum of its parts: toward a theory of document acts
Author: Todd Oakley
Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Author: Vera Tobin
Institution: Case Western Reserve University
Linguistic Field: Cognitive Science; Discourse Analysis
Abstract: We present in broad outline a theory of document acts, using the influential Supreme Court opinion in Marbury v. Madison (1803) as our principal test case. Marbury has a superabundance of rhetorical questions. They make up a significant and stylistically prominent portion of the total linguistic material of the text, yet they all but disappear from Marbury’s citation history and thus its content as an enduring jurisprudential entity. To account for these facts, we examine Marbury as a whole text addressing a particular situation, as a pastiche of constructions, and as a tool of jurisprudential decision-making. The intersection and independence of these ‘modes of being’ call for an overarching theoretical framework capable of accounting for facets of documents’ existence at three distinct but interpenetrating strata: System, Artifact, and Construction. We base our theory on primordial cognitive capacities for joint attention and joint commitments, with the strata as consequences of embodied human minds born into and embedded in intersubjective environments filled with and shaped by documents and their circulation. The closed system of United States Supreme Court opinions makes an excellent case for a theory of document acts that will eventually be used to understand and explain more open-ended systems.

CUP AT LINGUIST

This article appears IN Language and Cognition Vol. 6, Issue 1, which you can READ on Cambridge's site or on LINGUIST .



Add a new paper
Return to Academic Papers main page
Return to Directory of Linguists main page