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Evolving Nature of the English Language

Studies in Theoretical and Applied Linguistics

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Edited By Robert Kiełtyka and Agnieszka Uberman

This volume presents a collection of interdisciplinary papers pertaining to the most thought-provoking problems in the areas of both theoretical and applied linguistics. The contributors focus on contemporary developments in morphological, semantic and pragmatic theorizing. The contributions are also devoted to various aspects of the methodology of teaching English as well as some intricacies of translation.

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Quantification and Traceability of Prepositional Meanings in English Legal Texts (Edyta Więcławska)

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Edyta Więcławska

Quantification and Traceability of Prepositional Meanings in English Legal Texts

Abstract: The author aims at presenting a formal method of retrieving language data with the use of electronically-driven systems enabling the determination of trends corresponding to various aspects of the language of law. The text includes selected examples of graphical representations of the phenomena that are causally related. The focus is on the attempt to determine predominant patterns, as regards the distribution and collocability potential of the items belonging to selected grammatical categories. The language data are extracted from JRS-Acquis Corpus (Joint Research Collection of Acquis Communautaire).

Keywords: quantification, corpus-driven analysis, prepositional patterns, Legal English, institutional setting

Introduction

Semantic and logical structure of legal text sensu stricte1 is traditionally discussed with reference to the notion of legal norm, which – from the linguistic point of view – irrespective of the subject matter includes three content elements related to: (1) the extralinguistic referent of a sentence, (2) the temporal localisation of the factual state, described in the sentence, and (3) modality (Malinowski 2012, 117). From the point of view of grammar, legal communication in legislative texts may be said to be channelled through such a model structure, with the aid of various syntactic structures fitting in with this model, where the terms belonging to various grammatical categories are employed in a language-specific way. Prepositions, functioning as carriers of relational meaning (Quirk, Greenbaum 1973, 143) are claimed...

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