Context as a Pre-Condition for Meaning Fixation in Legal Texts: A Pragma-Contextual Analysis of Human Right Treaty-Based Legislative Text

Main Article Content

Ajenifari Joshua Taiwo
Awolope Joseph Alaba
Jelili Adewale Adeoye


The imperativeness of contextual nuances to textual meaning fixations has largely remained incontrovertible among scholars across various disciplines, though what counts as context may remain debatable. This paper explored the application of the relevant aspects of Lawal’s (2003) pragmatic theory to foreground the contextual inevitability to meaning processing of the treaty-based legislative text of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights document of 1948 as adopted by the United Nations. The research adopted a qualitative approach of analysis with a view to experimenting the applicability of language-based theory of pragmatics to the explication of legal-based text. The research showed that legal texts, as products of linguistic deployments, are not only subject to the context of human conditions, but are also amenable to the application of context-based theory of natural language. It was revealed that the linguistic deployments in any communicative legal text is a function of non-linguistic factors of context such as sociological, historical, psychological, social and cosmological situations of the human parties to the ensuing legal contracts under the circumstance

Article Details

How to Cite
Taiwo, A. J., Awolope Joseph Alaba, & Jelili Adewale Adeoye. (2023). Context as a Pre-Condition for Meaning Fixation in Legal Texts: A Pragma-Contextual Analysis of Human Right Treaty-Based Legislative Text. LingLit Journal Scientific Journal for Linguistics and Literature, 4(3), 105-116.


Abbasi, M.N. (2006). Domestic Application of International Human Rights Norms. Islamabad: National Judicial Conference.
Achoeah, J.E. & Adelodun, M. (2013). The Language of Advocacy Law: Towards a Pragma-Stylistic Analysis of the Case of Tinubu V.I.M.B. Security Plc. European Journal of Arts and Humanities 1(3), 109-24.
Adedimeji, M.A. and Alabi, T.A. (2003). “Basic Elements of English Language Grammar” In Obafemi O. and Babatunde, S.T. (Eds). Studies and Discourse in English Language. Ilorin: Hayteen Press.
Adekunle, A.S. (2011). A Pragmatic Analysis of President Goodluck Jonathan’s Inauguration Speech, Nigeria: Our Nation in Mourning. Unpublished B.A. Thesis: University of Ilorin.
Akman, V. (2000). Rethinking Context as a Social Construct: Journal of Pragmatics 32 (2000) 743–759
Austin, J.L. (1962). How to do Things with Words. Cambridge: MA: Harvard University Press.
Dada, S.A. (2012). “A Pragma-Stylistic Analysis of John 3:16” In International Journal of English Linguistics: Vol. 2, No. 5. Canadian Center of Science and Education.
Dada, S.A. and Mercy, O.E. (2013). “Pragmatic Presupposition of Galatians 2:20”: Asian Journal of Humanities and Social Studies. Vol. 01, issue 05. (
Elisa, P. (2008): The United Nations Human Rights System: How to Make it Work for You. United Nations: New York and Geneva. UNCTAD/NGLS/2008/2.
Frederic, J.D.S. (online). Contextual Interpretation of Statutes: 5 Fordham L. Rev 219 (1936)
Gibova, K. (2011). On Modality in EU Institutional – Legal Documents: in Kacmarova, A. (ed). English Matters II: A Collection of Papers by the Institute of British and American Studies Faculty. Presove: Presovska Univerzita.
Glendon, M.A. (2004). The Rule of Law in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Northwestern Journal of International Human Rights. Volume 2, issue 1 Article 5. http://scholarlycommons/
Lawal, A., Ajayi, B. and Wumi, R. (1996). A Pragmatic Study of Selected Pairs of Yoruba Proverbs: Journal of Pragmatics 27 (1997) 635-652.
Lawal, A. (2003). “Aspects of a Stylistic Theory and the Implication for Practical Critisism”. In Lawal, A. (Ed). Stylistics in Theory and Practice. Ilorin: Paragon Books.
Leech, G. & Short, M.H. (1987). Style in Fiction, London: Longman.
Levinson, S.C. (1983). Pragmatics. Cambridge: Press Syndicate of the University of Cambridge.
Mey, J. (2001). Pragmatics: An Introduction Oxford: Blackwell.
Odanye, O. (2012). Basic Concept of Civic Education for Senior Secondary Schools in Nigeria. Ibadan: Holad Publishers.
Olaniyi, O.K. (2010). A Pragmatic Analysis of President Umar Yar Adua’s Inauguration Speech of 29th May, 2007. Ilorin: University of Ilorin, Department of English.
Osinsanwo, W. (2003): Introduction to Discourse Analysis and Pragmatics. Lagos, Femilos Fetop. 2003.
Regassa, T. (2009). Making Legal Sense of Human Rights: The Judicial Role in Protecting Human Rights in Ethiopia. Mizan Law Review. Vol. 3 No.2. September, 2009:
Tinuoye, M.O. (2003). “What is Language?” In Obafemi, O. and Babatunde, S.T. (Eds). Studies and Discourse in English Language. Ilorin: Haytee Press.
The Core International Human Rights Treaties. Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. New York and Geneva, 2006: United Nations

DB Error: Unknown column 'Array' in 'where clause'