Evan Zoldan, ‘Corpus Linguistics and the Dream of Objectivity’

A growing number of scholars and judges have embraced corpus linguistics as a way to interpret legal texts. Their stated goal – to make legal interpretation more objective – is an admirable one. But, is their claim that corpus linguistics reduces the subjectivity associated with judicial intuition and biased data more than just a dream? After analyzing the way that corpus linguistics is used to interpret statutes, this Article concludes that corpus linguistics does not live up to its promise to make legal interpretation more objective. Instead, the use of corpus linguistics to interpret statutes results in interpretations that are radically acontextual, disrupting its proponents’ dream of objectivity.

Evan C Zoldan, Corpus Linguistics and the Dream of Objectivity, Seton Hall Law Review: volume 50: issue 2, article 3 (2020).

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