Manipulative use of language
Applying the interpretive tool I could specify the linguistic means enabling speakers, including lawyers, politicians and sale agents, to incorporate in their words contents that are not expressed explicitly, but are prompted by means of linguistic and contextual cues. Identifying the conditions in which contents of that kind may be missed completely by some of the hearers, I could present the actual strategies used in Modern Hebrew persuasive discourse:
Deciphering lawyer’s language by contextualist analysis. 2014. Bar-Asher, Moshe; Meir, Irit (eds.) Nit'e Ilan : Studies in Hebrew and related fields presented to Ilan Eldar. Jerusalem, Carmel Publishing, pp. 455-470.
Manipulation by deliberate failure of communication. 2015. Pragmatics and Society 6(4): 516-502.
Political Discourse. 2013. Khan, G. ed. Encyclopedia of Hebrew Language and Linguistics III. Leiden/Boston: Brill: 172-176.
The results show that the manipulative use of language characterizing not just political discourse and marketing but also the discourse of members of elite groups that, like legal professionals, wish sometimes to talk above the heads of laypersons in their presence. In particular, in
On the incoherence of the legal language to the general public. 2011. International Journal for the Semiotics of Law 24: 41—59.
I show that one of the pragmatic traits making legal texts appear incoherent is their abstruseness: specialized legal meanings are frequently conveyed in the legal discourse implicitly without keywords that could direct laypersons to the knowledge making these meanings obvious to legal professionals.
In (&Plato-Shinar R.) Simplifying the Interaction between Banks and their Customers: Towards Modernization of the Banking Contract Language. Mishpatim 2021. 51, we discuss the linguistic and conceptual-informative features that make the language of the interactions between banks and their retail customers impenetrable for the average customer.
We argue that the linguistic and conceptual-informative gaps between the parties are the main reasons that make the banking contract incomprehensible for the average customer. We show that these gaps derive not only from the complex grammar and convoluted wording of the contract; but also – and mainly – from the complexity of meanings and ideas implicitly conveyed throughout it, based on knowledge that is obvious to lawyers and bankers, but not to the average customer.
We argue that these gaps are rooted in three types of failures of communication between the bank and the customer: Failures in decoding the grammar; failures in the interpretation of archaic words from the general Hebrew and professional terms; and failures in completing hinted information contained in inter-textual links. These failures refer not only to the explicit layers of the text, but also to the conceptual information (both legal and financial) that is implicitly delivered. The article makes a first attempt to provide a scientific elucidation of the abovementioned failures, based on systemic linguistic analysis.
The test case chosen for this analysis is the contract for managing a bank account, which is the basic contract that regulates the relationship between the bank and its customers and serves as a basis for the variety of activities and transactions that customers perform with the bank.
The article calls for streamlining the communication between banks and their customers by rephrasing the banking contract in plain language, according to the innovative linguistic-conceptual-informative model detailed in it. The proposed model is compatible with the growing trend of digital banking and enables banking information to become more accessible and transparent.
In light of technological developments and the growing trend of online banking, the article offers an innovative way for fulfilling the aforementioned obligations in the digital age, increasing information accessibility and transparency.
Spoken Language [Hebrew]
Recently I apply the tool of interpretation to conversations from The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH; see http://humanities.tau.ac.il/~cosih); the tool of interpretation can be used as a general method of demonstrating that certain meanings (including metaform, implication and socio-semiotic meanings) are hidden in a given text. The tool of interpretation enables identification of the proposition represented by each of the utterances of a given text and to present rigorous examination of the pragmatic hypotheses about the relation of the contexts and the speakers’ purposes to the content, structure and manner of utterance of the utterances of these speakers in these contexts. Using this tool enables me to study the linguistic and pragmatic means used by speakers of Spoken Israeli Hebrew for passing on implied messages – the linguistic and pragmatic means that give language its schematic nature.
Levels of comprehension and ways of representing the subject in spoken Hebrew. 2016. In: Einat Gonen (ed.) Studies in Spoken Language. Teuda 477-501. I focus from a contextual cognitive perspective on the distribution of the subject components by means of referring expressions in spoken Israeli Hebrew.