Comparative Legilinguistics, 2009, vol. 01


Recent Submissions

Now showing 1 - 17 of 17
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    Translation Approaches in a Multilingual and Plurilegal Setting: Canada and the EU
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Yankova, Diana
    This paper will focus on the converging and diverging elements of the idiosyncratic legal regimes of federal Canada and of the supranational European Union. The methodology applied in Canada in terms of the stages in identifying the points of contact between the different legal systems and languages in relation to the procedure adopted in cases of conceptual and terminological non-correspondence, as well as the drafting techniques employed and the justification for choice in each particular instance, will be highlighted. The Canadian approach to terminological issues in the ongoing process of harmonizing federal legislation will be considered as a possible model for felicitous solutions regarding current pressing diffi culties in the translation of legal terms in the European Union.
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    Legal Themes in the Maqamas of AL- HARIRI (1054 – 1122)
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Michalski, Marcin
    The paper deals with legal themes used by al-Hariri (1054-1122) in his Maqamas, which portray various social situations typical of the Arab world of the author’s time. This genre, characterized by ornate form and jocular contents, is a good tool of criticism of social phenomena like Islamic law or its language. Al-Hariri bases some of his Maqamas on the ambiguity of the language of law, by which he consciously shows that such ambiguity exists. He also presents some cases examined by judges, including a charge of plagiarism, which at that time was not considered a legal matter.
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    Polysemy, Homonymy and Other Sources of Ambiguity in the Language of Chinese Contracts
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Grzybek, Joanna
    This paper discusses the main sources of ambiguity in Chinese-Polish translation of the contract legal language. Legal Chinese is very often the same as ordinary formal Chinese and that fact causes ambiguity in Chinese contracts. The author focuses on polysemy and homonymy which make the interpretation of legal language difficult and ambiguous. The meaning of Chinese characters depends on the textual context. However, when an interpreter does not know the background information of translated legal texts, it is very difficult to achieve a high quality legal translation. The abundance of homophones in Chinese language also poses a problem, especially in the case of contracts concluded in words, not in writing. The paper further presents different grammatical functions of Chinese terms encountered in contracts without a morphological change. Such linguistic features of Chinese language as: the absence of distinction between singular and plural nouns, lack of inflection, no grammatical categories of tense and aspect cause ambiguity and vagueness in interpreting the Chinese agreements. Moreover, the understanding of such texts is sometimes incorrect due to omissions and elliptical sentences. The author also shows the differences in the meaning of terms, which apparently signify the same entities and concepts in Polish and Chinese legal languages but in fact differ significantly.
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    The Function of Ancient Greek in Teaching Legal Translation of Modern Greek Language
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Gortych, Karolina
    According to ideas which have been presented in main course books and methodological guides, a lack of Ancient Greek in the process of teaching Modern Greek Philology has occurred. It could be a problem if Modern Greek philologists decide to be translators and interpreters of legal texts because the Greek language of law has archaisms, rigid structures and elements. My project deals with the function and amount of Ancient Greek in the curiculum of Modern Greek Philology. I conclude that it is impossible to avoid Ancient Greek in the curriculum of Modern Greek Philology completely. I show the necessity of the Ancient Greek language because present Greek grammar and dictionaries cannot offer any insight in this field. Analysis of the curriculum affects the Modern Greek Language and Literature Department at Adam Mickiewicz University. The research material concludes with selected parts of Greek and Cypriot statutory acts which also affect the aforementiones issues.
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    The Parameters of Multilingual Legal Communication in a Globalized World
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Sandrini, Peter
    In law a tendency towards a tighter global embedding of national legislation can be observed. A few historical notes on the evolving of national legal systems will be the basis for the identifi cation of the parameters of international legal communication and the factors influencing legal translation. An attempt at defi ning legal translation from the viewpoint of LSPcommunication leads to a comprehensive overview of the key parameters for legal translation.
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    Achievements of the Plain Swedish Movement from the Polish Perspective
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Hadryan, Milena
    The paper deals with the plain language movement in Sweden from the Polish perspective. Plain Swedish is endorsed by law as an objective of state policy and there is a state body responsible for the quality of public language. The concept of plain language belongs to speech and language planning and is considered to be a central part of Swedish language policy. Polish law only provides protection for the Polish language. As a result, there is neither Polish speech and language planning to promote simple and comprehensible use of official language nor any state body dealing with these issues.
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    Organisation of Background Knowledge Structures in Legal Language and Related Translation Problems
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Biel, Łucja
    The paper examines the organization of background knowledge structures in legal language and related incongruities of legal terms. The cognitive linguistics methodology, in particular its findings on the nature of meaning, is applied. Terms serve as prompts with a semantic potential to activate various levels of knowledge structures, such as domains, scripts, scenarios, cognitive models and frames. In most cases organization of knowledge will differ in the SL and TL. The final part analyses translation strategies and techniques in terms of their potential to activate relevant knowledge.
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    Legal Speech Acts in a Cognitive Linguistic Perspective – Focus on Modality
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Witczak-Plisiecka, Iwona
    The paper involves three main fields of linguistic analysis: the pragmatic theory of speech acts, cognitive linguistics and legal language. Its main aim is to demonstrate the relevance of the cognitive framework to the analysis of speech acts and especially the deontic use of the modal verb shall in the legal context. The focus is on the use of the modal, which is mainly used to impose obligations or to confer rights. Thus, its meaning seems to be in most cases a combination of both assertive and directive illocutionary forces when approached from a pragmatic perspective, and a combination of deonticity with futurity and prediction in traditional grammar terminology. The discussion is illustrated with a variety of examples retrieved from a corpus of legal documents drafted in English and translated into Polish. It is argued that the meaning of most instances of shall in the legal domain, due to its context-sensitivity, can be best accounted for in terms of a cognitive blend, which integrates various aspects of its meaning. Th ese aspects are believed to be inherently vague and possibly an instance of ongoing processes of grammaticalisation, which can only be grasped with reference to the context of a particular expression, thus pragmatic in nature.
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    Cognitive Consequences of Translations for Rendering the Modality of Legal Documents (A Semantic Study Based on The Amsterdam Treaty as an Example)
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Wakuła-Kunz, Wanda
    This study aims at examining how the manifestation forms of linguistic modality, which plays a rule-constitutive role in the content of legal documents, may be changed in the process of translation. Basing on the achievements of cognitive linguistics the author tries to find a solution for a proper translation of root and epistemic modals that would serve the same communicative function. In concluding remarks she notices that the role of linguists in solving the problems of the legal world is essential for checking the occurrence of ambiguity in the interpretation of translated texts.
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    Methods of Expressing Deontic Modality in English and Polish Statutory Instruments
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Matulewska, Aleksandra
    This paper deals with the methods of expressing deontic modality in statutory instruments. The author analyzes three pure meanings that is to say; (i) obligation, (ii) prohibition and (iii) permission. Within those three meanings three sub-meanings are distinguished. Within the meaning of obligation, the author distinguishes the following sub-meanings: (i) unlimited duty, (ii) conditional duty, and (iii) external duty. Within the meaning of prohibition the following three sub-meanings may be distinguished: (i) unlimited prohibition, (ii) conditional prohibition, and (iii) external prohibition. Within the meaning of permission we have distinguished three sub-meanings: (i) unlimited permission, (ii) conditional permission, and (iii) external permission. The exponents of deontic modality are presented in the tables and compared in order to show potential translation equivalents.
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    Analysis of ‘Classical’ and Legislative Definitions for the Term Records of the Slovak Terminology Database
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Levicka, Jana
    The paper presents a comparative study of „classical“ and legislative definitions referring to the same concept in the field of law, which reveal multidimensional nature of these concepts. The author focuses on one hand on typology of definitions and on the other on their structure, coherence and applicability. The aim is to decide, on the basis of this comparison, which type of defi nition is to be used to represent concepts in the domain of law in the Slovak Terminology Database, addressing not only lawyers but also lay public, so that definitions included in this Database can facilitate and enhance knowledge acquisition.
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    Latin Legal Terminology in Estonia
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Ristikivi, Marike
    The article examines the use of Latin in contemporary legal texts and its impact on terminology. The terminology analysed in the article comprises the terms collected from the Estonian juridical periodicals. Attention is paid to the following topics: average size of the vocabulary of the Estonian lawyer; the most frequent Latin terms and phrases; context of Latin terms and phrases; main problems and errors in the use of Latin.
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    Why Forensic Linguistics Needs Corpus Linguistics
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Blackwell, Susan
    While corpus linguistics has existed since the 1960s, Forensic Linguistics is a relatively new discipline, involving both linguistic evidence in court and wider applications of linguistics to legal texts and discourses. Computer corpora of natural language may be marked up in various ways, grammatically tagged, parsed, lemmatised and analysed with concordance, collocation and other specialist soft ware. In the relatively short history of forensic linguistics, its exponents have oft en employed corpus linguistics techniques in order to throw light on questions like disputed authorship. However, the corpora employed have been general ones such as the Cobuild “Bank of English”, rather than purpose-built databases of language used in legal contexts, with the result that such research sometimes raises more questions than it answers. Conversely, corpus linguists have from time to time incorporated data from legal settings into their collections; but they have tended to use these resources as the basis for sociolinguistic or historical linguistic research rather than as a means of exploring topics in language and law. This paper makes a plea for these two fi elds, which are both already cross-disciplinary, to join forces and create a purpose-built corpus for forensic linguistics. It illustrates how corpus techniques may be successfully applied to questions of disputed authorship, citing both hypothetical and actual examples. It ends with an outline of the kinds of texts which a proposed new corpus for Forensic Linguistics should contain and the tools required to exploit it effectively.
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    Interpretation of Legal Texts by Translators. Imperative, Prohibitive and Empowering Clauses in Polish, Hungarian and English Legal Language
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Kaczmarek, Karolina
    This article presents research on written legal texts with a focus on the cohesion of such texts by analyzing the function of lexical repetition. Th e author indicates the possibility of using Hoey and Károly’s method of researching repetition patterns in texts in the process of translating Polish and Hungarian legal texts. In this analysis Polish, and Hungarian contract texts serve as a search base. Because contracts in both languages are structured into similar units, so called clauses, the author chose it for a base category of analysis. Th e author used three structures to search for lexical repetitions: intrasentential, intersentential and discourse structure. Because of the specific genre, contract clauses were used for analysis instead of popular linguistic units such as the sentence. Therefore, the discussion here concerns intra-clausulal, inter-clausulal or legal discourse structures. Th e author states that the number and quality of repetition in Polish and Hungarian contracts is comparable. However, the number of lexical repetition appear to be smaller in Hungarian texts.
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    The Logical-Semantic Structure of Legislative Sentences
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Deschamps, Karen; Smessaert, Hans
    This article analyses the logical-semantic structure of legislative sentences from a linguistic point-of-view. First, it is examined which elements constitute the meaning of legislative sentences. The following norm elements will be discussed: legal modality, norm subject, act, conditions of application, time and space, norm authority and negation. In the second part of the article, the logical-semantic relations between these elements are analysed. Following Bowers (1989), these logical-semantic relations are represented in a predicate-argument structure on diff erent levels.
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    Discourse Disfluencies in Bilingual Court Hearings
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Torstenston, Niklas; Gawrońska, Barbara
    In about 9% civil and criminal cases that are settled in Swedish District courts every year, i.e. in roughly 10 000 court hearings, an interpreter is employed when at least one of the involved parties speaks another language than Swedish. In this paper, aspects of interpretation in the courtroom are discussed in general, and examples from court proceedings are used to analyse disfl uent situations. The role of the interpreter is viewed, and compared to that of other participants’ in the discourse. Aspects of legal rights for the individual are discussed in relation to examples from other language communities. The results show that the confusing situations and misinterpretations are not only dependent on the decisions made by the interpreter. Th e attitudes and the linguistic behaviour of all discourse participants may contribute to the disfl uencies.
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    Arabic in Certifi ed Translators’ Work
    (Instytut Językoznawstwa Wydział Neofilologii, UAM, 2009) Styszyński, Marcin
    The present paper concerns Arabic in certified translators’ work. The paper contains a selection of examples translated from Arabic into Polish from a large domain of translation studies. I would like to underline that the present examples concern Polish language, with the English version not being a primary focus. Th is paper will deal with two important points (i) suitable words which express exact meanings and terms and (ii) the correctness of administrative style in some Arabic documents. The author will also examine the composition of Arabic texts and selection of information during the translation process.
Uniwersytet im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Biblioteka Uniwersytetu im. Adama Mickiewicza w Poznaniu
Ministerstwo Nauki i Szkolnictwa Wyższego