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Existing words already have meaning. The relationship between the word (form) and the meaning is conventional, and in learning a language (as a child or second language learner), you learn that relation. This is a very complicated topic, so will just say that "you learn" without going into all of the details of how you learn, but children learn ...


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This is the area of the theory of legal interpretation that is most interesting to linguists. My first recommended reading is The language of judges by Lawrence Solan, a linguist-lawyer. That work sets forth some basic principles of linguistics that are relevant to legal interpretation, including for example the "last antecedent rule" (an actually-...


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I assume by "grammars" Hoffman means grammar reference books or perhaps style guides. Fundamentally, the meaning of words is not the same thing as what dictionaries or other reference works say about the words. However, reference works can be assumed to contain some information, albeit partial and occasionally inaccurate, about the meaning of words....


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