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The originality of legal syntax is also illustrated by means of an example. One is reminded that all legal languages share specific characteristics. This acknowledgment of the particularity of legal syntax is at variance with the stance of Cornu 35 who argues that the language of the law has no specific syntax. In his discussion of legislative discourse, he does, however, point to some syntactical peculiarities such as ellision, ellipsis, etc.

Peculiarities of syntax also abound in English legal discourse Charrow and Charrow Klinck points out that syntactic choices are relevant to the way legal discourse characteristically creates meaning. The major legal languages, Latin, French, German, and English, form the basis of the second part of the book. Examples from legal Italian, legal Spanish and legal Russian also enrich other parts of the analysis. The most original part of this section is the treatment of legal Latin. After tracing the history of legal Latin p.

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Indeed, the case for the adoption of Latin as a lingua franca in law has been made by some commentators who note that translation between systems that are based on Roman law is less problematic than those which do not go back to a common origin. The author, however, urges caution and points out that the translator grappling with Latin terminology soon realizes that this dissociation from environment is not possible even with what appears to be a universal.

The same Latin terms have different meanings in different legal systems.

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Subpoena has a different meaning in German law than it does in American law. A civil lawyer will never fully understand what a common law lawyer means by in rem and in personam.

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Bona fides means one thing in English Law and another in the law of the Continent. Even within the same legal family divergence occurs.

Your gateway to understanding Chinese law and legal culture

In fact, it was stated at the Geneva Conference on the Law of Bills of Exchange in that French and German lawyers do not take the same view as to the precise meaning of bona fides Gutteridge Another difficulty associated with Latin legal terminology is the way it is used and often misused p. Legal terms are often abbreviated or truncated by legal practitioners and used as a kind of legal shorthand.

Thus when a lawyer speaks of a nisi prius literally unless before , he is simply referring to a civil trial in which, unlike in an appelate court, issues are tried before a jury. Latin is also very often misused. Mattila gives the example of exitus which in the German linguistic zone has as its main meaning decease but in common law countries the same term has several meanings: children ; the rents, issues, and profits of lands and tenements ; an export duty ; etc.

Decease is not listed as a meaning. Other instances could be given.

Another well-known, albeit firmly established example is the duo actus reus and mens rea — the classic ingredients of a crime in common law jurisdictions Varo and Hughes Lord Diplock pointed out in R v. Miller [] 1 All ER that reus , although used as an adjective in the above combinations is, in fact, a noun and concluded:. The final part of the book deals with lexical comprehension and research needs in the area of legal linguistics. The author emphasizes the nexus between legal language and legal system.

Your gateway to understanding Chinese law and legal culture

Any discussion of legal English, for example, must contain a description of the characteristics of the common-law system. The author builds on the earlier portrait of the major legal languages by exposing their rivalry. The author adroitly shows how the major powers have sought to impose their legal systems and their legal languages over the ages. In Antiquity, the lex Romana was a vehicle for the subjugation of peoples and the spread of the Roman Empire. Later, after the discovery of the Corpus Iuris Civilis , ius commune held sway in continental Europe and even influenced common law.

Albeit that the Roman Law that influenced English law was at a different stage of development than the one that moulded French law.


As Poirier put it:. Historians even go as far as to say that English law, like other continental laws, is derived from Roman law, the difference being that the latter follow a fully matured Roman law, while English law follows a Roman law that is in its infancy. Mattila points out p.

At the end of the Middle Ages, the commercial law of Italian cities was very influential abroad while from the start of the 16 th century Spanish and Portuguese laws spread to the America. In later times France, Germany and even Russian law were more significant. French legal culture, and its Code civil , by virtue of its intrinsic merits and through the force of colonization was central. In more recent decades, the law of the European Union owes much to the French tradition. He has published several studies on legal languages, especially on legal Latin, as well as on family law, law of inheritance and international private law.

Part 4 Conclusion: Lexical comprehension and research needs; Alphabetical bibliography; Systematic bibliography; Foreign terms and expressions; Index.

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Overview of Comparative Linguistics

Laddas ned direkt. Skickas inom vardagar specialorder. This book examines legal language as a language for special purposes, evaluating the functions and characteristics of legal language and the terminology of law.

Studying Asian Law in Translation: Considerations of Comparative Legal Linguistics

Using examples drawn from major and lesser legal languages, it examines the major legal languages themselves, beginning with Latin through German, French, Spanish and English. This second edition has been fully revised, updated and enlarged. A new chapter on legal Spanish takes into account the increasing importance of the language, and a new section explores the use in legal circles of the two variants of the Norwegian language.

All chapters have been thoroughly updated and include more detailed footnote referencing. The work will be a valuable resource for students, researchers, and practitioners in the areas of legal history and theory, comparative law, semiotics, and linguistics.