Professor and chair
Department of Linguistics & Oriental Languages
San Diego State University
San Diego, CA 92182-7727
Office: BA 326
Areas of interest: functional syntax, pragmatics, discourse, semantics, English grammar; language and law, in particular, applying principles of syntax, semantics, and pragmatics to legal discourses such as contracts, legislation, wills, and other operative texts.
Background: Ph.D. University of Pennsylvania 1976. J.D.
University of San Diego School of Law 1994. Taught at
Arizona, Melbourne, Northeastern,
San Diego State. Linguistics Institutes in 1971 (Buffalo), 1984 (Los Angeles), 1987
(Stanford). NEH Summer Seminars for College Teachers 1978
(New Mexico, bilingualism (Bernard Spolsky)), 1981
(UMass, formal semantics (Barbara Partee & Emmon Bach)).
I serve as the North American representative of the International Association of Forensic
My teaching for fall 2002: Ling 522 (Syntax).
- (Forthcoming). With Betty J. Birner and Gregory Ward. A pragmatic analysis of the epistemic would construction in English. Proceedings of the International Conference on Modality in Contemporary English, University of Verona, Italy.
- Pragmatic contributions to the interpretation of a will. 5 Forensic linguistics 107.
- With Georgia M. Green. Grammar and inferences of rationality in interpreting the child pornography statute. 73 Washington University law quarterly 1223.
- With Georgia M. Green, Clark D. Cunningham, and Judith N. Levi. Bringing linguistics into judicial decisionmaking: semantic analysis submitted to the U.S. Supreme Court. 2 Forensic linguistics 81
- English grammar: principles and facts. Englewood Cliffs, NJ: Prentice-Hall. 2e
- With Clark D. Cunningham, Judith N. Levi, and Georgia M. Green. Plain meaning and hard cases. 103 Yale law journal 1561.
- Review of Levi, Judith N., & Anne Graffam Walker, eds., Language in the judicial process. 1 Forensic linguistics 94.
- Syntax in the interpretation of legal language: the vested vs. contingent distinction in property law. 68 American Speech 58.
Some useful links:
Prof. Kaplan's Home Page: http://www-rohan.sdsu.edu/~jeff315/