A linguistic analysis of the structure of an Ojibwe legal glossary

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Dubois, Dawn
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A great deal of concern has been expressed over the quality of interpretation provided in Canadian courts. To assist court interpreters in developing a consistent form of communication, over the past two decades, legal glossaries and manuals containing commonly used legal terms have been produced for various regional Ojibwe dialects including Oji-Cree spoken in Northwestern Ontario and Manitoba-Saulteaux Ojibwe spoken in Southern Manitoba. To date, little research has been completed in the areas of indigenous legal language and the structure of legal glossaries of Algonquian languages. Although glossaries of Ojibwe legal terms have been compiled to assist court interpreters with this process, a salient question that remains is whether these glossaries adequately provide a means for producing a linguistically true and legally appropriate interpretation of statements translated in court from English to Ojibwe and vice versa. Accordingly, the aims of this thesis are to provide a descriptive overview of the areas of legal language and to explore how legal glossaries of the Ojibwe language are compiled and how effective these glossaries are for the court interpreting process. Specifically, this thesis provides a linguistic analysis of the structure of the Manitoba Aboriginal Legal Glossary Ojibwe (abbreviated as MALG), a legal glossary of the Manitoba Saulteaux dialect of Ojibwe spoken in Southern Manitoba...