KITASATO REVIEW Annual Report of Studies in Liberal Arts and Sciences
Online ISSN : 2424-0125
Print ISSN : 1345-0166
ISSN-L : 1345-0166
Research Articles
Trademark Linguistics as an Intersection of Law and Linguistics: With Special Reference to Escalator
Mami GoshoFuminori Nakamura
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2020 Volume 25 Pages 1-20


This paper discusses the theory of genericization of a trademark from a linguistic perspective. Genericization is a process in which a trademark, initially indicating a type of product or service by a specific provider, becomes a generic name for a category to which it belongs and unable to be recognized as a brand name of the provider. While it is judged by law whether or not this process occurs, this semantic broadening itself is a common linguistic phenomenon, into which linguistics has a potential to offer fruitful insights. This paper attempts to model the semantic change from a constructional-grammatical and usage-based perspective, taking up a genericized trademark escalator as an example. The ultimate goal of this research is to develop a new interdisciplinary framework called “Trademark Linguistics” that not only contributes to a legal practice but also brings a new perspective to linguistics.

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© College of Liberal Arts and Science, Kitasato University

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