7:30pm @THE WOODS

Eventbrite - The Fuzzy Boundaries of Words and Why This Matters in Law and Politics

Many words we know do not have a clear scope; consider “indigo” and “purple”, or everyday items like a “cup” or a “mug”. It is not always certain whether an object falls neatly into these categories.

Translated to a legal context, the categories get even fuzzier. A legal dispute argues whether an act lies inside or outside the original intention of the law, so this fuzzy language often makes harder cases.

Janny Leung invites us to confront the inherent vagueness of language - and explains why this is not necessarily a bad thing. This talk will embrace the uncertainties in words and explore the challenges and opportunities they raise in legal and political communication.


Janny Leung is an Associate Professor of English and Programme Director of Law and Literary Studies (BA, LLB) at The University of Hong Kong. She obtained her M Phil and PhD in English and Applied Linguistics from the University of Cambridge, an LLB from the University of London, and an LLM from Yale Law School. In 2013-2014, she was a Visiting Scholar at the Harvard Yenching Institute, Harvard University. 

Her research revolves around the questions of meaning: from psycholinguistic work on how concepts are acquired and mapped onto language, to interdisciplinary work on how words are interpreted and given meanings in the legal and political realms.


This talk will be delivered in English | Entrance over 18 


我們認識的文字中有很多都沒有一個清晰的界定,就如「靛」與「紫」,或日常用語如 「企」和 「站」等。我們往往不能把所有物件都整齊地分門別類。


講者Janny Leung 帶領我們正視語言本質上的模糊,並解釋為何這樣亦無不可。這個講座將環繞着文字的不穩定性和探索其為法律和政治溝通上帶來的種種挑戰和機遇。