Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Computational Linguistics & Phonetics Fachrichtung 4.7 Universität des Saarlandes

CORTE - Computerlinguistische Methoden für die Rechtsterminologie


The potential of knowledge-based technological support for work in the legal domain has become widely recognized in recent time. The goal of CORTE is to provide such support using techniques from computational linguistics based on a sound theoretical understanding of the creation, semantics and use of legal terminology. In particular the project aims at:
  • developing a linguistic model of definitions in legal text
  • building computational linguistic tools for the automatic extraction of such definitions
  • exploring methods for the exploitation of the extracts in terminologies for the legal domain

A corpus-based survey on the definition and modification of concepts in German court verdicts is taken as the starting point. The approach pursued in the CORTE project complements existing work on legal top-level, statute-based ontologies for the law by extracting conceptual knowledge from verdict texts. At the same time it contributes from an empirical, corpus-based perspective to ongoing theoretical discussions on legal concepts and the interpretation of law texts.


[PDF] [DE] Walter, S., Definitionsextraktion aus Urteilstexten, PhD Thesis, Universität des Saarlandes, 2011

Walter, S., Definition Extraction from Court Decisions Using Computational Linguistic Technology, In: Grewendorf, GŁnther and Monika Rathert (eds.) Formal Linguistics and Law. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, 2009

Walter, S. and Pinkal, M., Definitions in Court Decisions - Automatic Extraction and Ontology Acquisition, In: Breuker et al. (eds.): Law, Ontologies and the Semantic Web. IOS Press, Amsterdam, 2009

[PDF] Walter, S., Linguistic Description and Automatic Extraction of Definitions from German Court Decisions, In: Proceedings of the Sixth International Language Resources and Evaluation (LREC'08)

[PDF] Walter, S. and Pinkal, M., Automatic Extraction of Definitions from German Court Decisions, In: Proceedings of the ACL-2006 Workshop on Information Extraction Beyond The Document, Sydney, Australia, 20-28

[PDF] [DE] Walter, S. Computerlinguistische Methoden für die Rechtsterminologie, In: Schweighofer et al. (Hrsg.): e-Staat und e-Wirtschaft aus rechtlicher Sicht. Tagungsband des 9. Internationalen Rechtsinformatik Symposions IRIS 2006, Stuttgart (Boorberg) 2006, 303-309

[PDF] Walter, S. and Pinkal, M., Computational Linguistic Support for Legal Ontology Construction, In: Proceedings of the Tenth International Conference on Artificial Intelligence and Law, 2005 (ICAIL 05), p. 242-243, New York: ACM Press, 2005.

Further information

[DE] >> Hintergrund und Motivation


Prof. Dr. Manfred Pinkal (
Stephan Walter (


DFG-Logo CORTE is funded by the DFG (German Science Foundation, PI 154/10-1)