Dr. Martin Aher
IS A LINGUIST WHO STUDIED AT TARTU UNIVERSITY, AMSTERDAM UNIVERSITY AND OSNABRÜCK UNIVERSITY, FOCUSING ON THE SEMANTIC PUZZLES OF LEGAL LANGUAGE.
Since 2011, Martin has been collaborating with lawyers and judges to apply formal linguistic methods to the interpretation puzzles that arise in courts of law.
The motivation for Martin's work arose when he worked on World Trade Organisation (WTO) negotiations, analysing draft language for the new Doha round Agreements. It became obvious that there is a need for textual interpretation, however there was a definite lack of precise tools for it. This prompted Martin to study semantics to learn about the available tools for language interpretation in the scientific community.
Martin's work has focused on well-known questions in the legal literature:
- Is "or" exclusive?
- How to interpret conditional ("if-then) sentences?
- How does the interpretation of language change in the legal context?
However, Martin's work is not limited to these questions. To see whether we can assist with your interpretation problem, send us an inquiry with details about the case. All inquiries will be considered confidential and will not be made available to the public without your explicit permission.
For details on the application of Martin's work in legal language, see
Full list of publications
2013 - Searching for Directions: Epistemic and Deontic Modals in InqS.. With Jeroen Groenendijk. Presentation at TbiLLC 2013. Abstract. Work in progress: slides differ from the abstract.
2012 - Modals and Conditionals in DIS. Presentation at Utrecht University linguistics department.
2012 - Free Choice in Deontic Inquisitive Semantics. Presentation at DGfS, in Frankfurt.
2012 - Modal and Conditional Paradoxes. Presentation at the University of Osnabrück linguistics meeting.
2012 - Deontic Radical Inquisitive Semantics. Presentation at the philosophy department of Carnegie Mellon University.
2011 - Free Choice in Deontic Inquisitive Semantics. 18th Amsterdam Colloquium. See the proceedings paper above.
2010 - Reading Disjunction in Legal Context. Poster at KogWis.
2010 - Disjunction in Legal Language. Talk at the 15th student session, ESSLLI.
Presentations in Estonian
2014 - Lühivaade modaalsustele formaalses semantikas. Presentation at the Tartu University Contrastive Linguistics Working Group colloquium. Presented in February.
2013 - Kaevurite mõistatuse lahendus Oletuste Küsivas Semantikas. Theoretical Linguistics in Estonia IV. Presented in December.
2013 - Semantika tööriistad kohtusaalis. Annual conference of the Estonian Cognitive Linguistics Association. Presented in April.
For lawyers - Tingimuslaused
For lawyers - Semantikud juristidele appi
For lawyers - Sidesõna "või"
2013 - Besold, T.R., Aher,M, Krumnack, U. and Schmidt, M., Formal languages in Logic, A philosophical and Cognitive Analysis. By Catarina Dutilh Novaes. (Cambridge UP, 2012. Price 55.00GBR.) The Philosophical Quarterly, 63:377-379. doi: 10.1111/j.1467-9213.2012.00101.x
2013 - Modals in Legal Language. Dissertation, University of Osnabrueck. Final version, September 2013. Stable URL: http://repositorium.uni-osnabrueck.de/handle/urn:nbn:de:gbv:700-2013100711641
2009 - Master thesis. University of Amsterdam.