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The Legal Language of Scottish BurghsStandardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560)$
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Joanna Kopaczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001

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Binomials and Multinomials in Early Legal Scots

Binomials and Multinomials in Early Legal Scots

(p.188) 10 Binomials and Multinomials in Early Legal Scots
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

Binomials, or pairs of coordinated lexical elements (e.g. husband and wife, to grant and to give), have always been recognized as characteristic features of legal discourse, but so far no comprehensive study of their inventory and forms in a given pool of texts has been offered. This chapter provides a detailed account of recurrent binomials in the corpus. From the structural point of view, it is the nominal coordinated pairs that come to the fore. A thorough discussion is given to the motivations behind coordinated elements in the pair. Most binomials can be explained with resort to meaning, as they answer to the requirement of all-inclusiveness in legal discourse. The so-called binomials proper, however, contain semantic repetition and their motivations lie in phonology and etymology. The binomials and multinomials clearly reflect the indigenous character of Scots legal discourse, but they are also shared to some extent with English legal vocabulary.

Keywords:   binomials, multinomials, lexical bundles, semantics, phonology, etymology, constituent order

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