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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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PRINTED FROM OXFORD SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (oxford.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Oxford University Press, 2020. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in OSO for personal use. date: 26 September 2020

The Language of Legal Texts

The Language of Legal Texts

(p.13) 2 The Language of Legal Texts
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

This is the opening chapter in Part One of the book, devoted to the linguistic framework of the study. The argument is focused on the relationship between law and language, the vehicle which transmits and constructs law. Having addressed the problems of terminology and scope, the discussion moves on to the oral beginnings of the law and their echoes resonating in the linguistic fabric of legal written texts. The chapter pays attention to the relationship between the context, function, and form in legal discourse, as visible, for instance, in the clarity and authority requirements. These requirements, in turn, prompt specific linguistic choices, e.g. terminology, formulaic patterns, binomials, specific lexicon, or syntax. The discussion shows sensitivity to the variety of genres in legal discourse, as well as to the Scottish dimension of the linguistic tools involved.

Keywords:   orality, literacy, printing, legal discourse, formulaicity, repetitiveness, binomials, semantics

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