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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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Exploring Language of the Past

Exploring Language of the Past

Context, Discourse, and Text

(p.31) 3 Exploring Language of the Past
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs

Joanna Kopaczyk

Oxford University Press

This chapter concentrates on the functional approach to discourse. The evolution of functionalism in linguistics, starting with the notion of context and following with Halliday’s concepts of field, tenor, and mode, is discussed with reference to historical legal discourse. After the discussion of other related notions, such as register, genre, and text type, the chapter proposes a conceptual distinction between language standardization and linguistic standardization. This split allows for concentrating on one selected level of language. The fixed and expected lexico-syntactic patterns can now be interpreted as tokens of linguistic standardization on the level of text. In order to establish the inventory of these patterns in an objective manner, the study employs corpus methodology, which is given space towards the end of the chapter. To complement this argument with an interdisciplinary outlook, the discussion draws attention to the creators of the texts—discourse communities of early Scottish towns.

Keywords:   functionalism, Halliday, genre, register, text, standardization, discourse community, corpus linguistics

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