Main Article Content
The paper Comprehensible semantics in written forms of communication deals with the comprehensibility of legal semantics in written legal communication for legal experts and
lay persons. The Comprehensibility Model of Legal Language is in the tradition of linguistic pragmatics and exemplifies the language use in German product liability law which belongs
to the core of consumer protection in everyday economic transactions. This includes lexemes such as ‘Fehler’ (error), ‘Produkt’ (product), ‘Sache’ (object) or ‘Mangel’ (defect) which occur both in expert as well as in non-expert situations of use.
Intersections in the semantic explication between legal experts and laypersons as well as communicative problems of legal laypersons are determined. The linguistic problems must be
solved in interdisciplinary committees of linguists and legal experts: e.g., in the editorial team Legal Language in the German Federal Ministry of Justice or in an European Competence Center for language and the law. The Comprehensibility Model aims at comprehensible communication of the law, in order to implement the concept of linguistic democracy. It works in the horizon of the recipient. This designates adequacy with regard to object and addressee for the production and reception of legal texts.
The methodological basis is multiperspectivity: with the theory pattern, the empirical pattern, the results pattern and the comparison pattern. This leads to new possibilities for research on language for special purposes, transcending traditional disciplinary boundaries, as well as to new, practically relevant professional fields for students of Applied Linguistics (e.g., legal editor, executive consultant).