46 University of Pittsburgh Law Review 373 (1985)
In everyday conversation social conventions constrain our speech and aid understanding of the speech of others. These social conventions have been analyzed by the philosopher H.P. Grice and others. Professor Sinclair explores the applicability of such conventions to statutes and thereby derives a set of pragmatic rules of statutory construction. These rules explain some of the intuitions underlying "canons of construction" and their limitations and provide a basis for understanding and for criticizing some important judicial decisions.
Sinclair, M. B.W., "Law and Language: The Role of Pragmatics in Statutory Interpretation" (1985). Articles by Maurer Faculty. Paper 2262.