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Abstract

The aim of this paper is to examine whether genre overlapping and register variation have implications in terms of translation outcomes. To this end, the English and the Italian version of the letter sent by Sergio Marchionne to the President of Confindustria – Italy’s most important employers’ organisation – will be analysed. The decision to investigate Marchionne’s statement is based on the fact that this is a letter disseminated as a press release, which also contains highly-technical terminology pertaining to the discourse of Employment Relations (ER). It is stressed that a number of issues arise when deciding which genre and register to use when translating specialised texts. It is argued that genre overlapping and register variation affect the texts in English and Italian in important respects, leading to different perceptions on the part of the target audience.

Abstract

This paper aims at comparing the definition of ‘trademark’ in three different legal systems – EU law, international law and US common law – in order to identify the discoursal, generic and textual characteristics of definition as a genre. The selected corpus of analysis is made up of three definitions from EU Regulation 2017/1001, WTO Agreement on Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property Rights (TRIPS) and US Lanham Act (sec.45) and of several US cases from 1926 to 2019. The theoretical framework within which the analysis is carried out is the seminal work on definition as carried out by Richard Robinson (1954) and Harris and Hutton (2007). The approach is mainly linguistic, though a historical excursus on the concept of definition is provided as a necessary introductory premise. The findings demonstrate that EU legal texts are characterised by a hybrid style (Robertson 2010) which results from the combination of common law and civil law textual features.

The analysis of the definitional sections here displayed supports this point and confirms that EU term formation and definition are text-driven (Šarčević 2016). EU legal texts in their English version originate from the dynamic combination of two aspects: one connected to EU legal English – which is not common law English – and one connected to matters of terminology, syntax and general structure which has a French origin.

Abstract

The article identifies the discursive characteristics of news media texts covering Poland’s ‘constitutional crisis’. Following the conception of discourse presented in Laclau and Mouffe (1985), i.e. as an articulatory practice that conveys meaning through a structured system of positions and differences, the article highlights some features of English-language news media texts (e.g. from the Guardian, Telegraph, Economist, Financial Times, New York Times, Washington Post) that can be described as typical. The following features are identified: a lecturing tone, the use of structural oppositions, immediate rebuttals, misrepresentation, appeals to expertise, and the sovereignty taboo. These features are diagnosed as contributing to the narrow discursive range covered by news articles. To shed light on this narrow range, the article presents three conflicting positions from Polish legal theory that address the issues of constitutional courts, the rule of law and national sovereignty: Ryszard Piotrowki’s legal constitutionalism, Paweł Bała and Adam Wielomski’s Schmitt-inspired position, and Adam Sulikowski’s reading of the constitutional courts as an instrument of hegemonic discourse. In the conclusion it is suggested that news media discourse would benefit from demonstrating a greater awareness of other discourses, and from developing a more generous, balanced approach to presenting and addressing their claims.

Abstract

Prototype theory is a semantic theory according to which the membership of conceptual categories is based not on a list of criterial features, but rather on the similarity to the most representative member of the category. Consequently, conceptual categories may lack classical definitions and rigid boundaries. This article supports the claims, already made by other scholars working in the field, that prototype theory may greatly augment our understanding of legal (i.e. statutory, judicial) interpretation. Legal provisions are traditionally written as classical definitions, but they are rarely applied that way. Statutory concepts tend to be interpreted with a great deal of flexibility, using a wide array of extra-textual factors. This is especially true for the case law of the Court of Justice of the European Union, which has to deal with the challenges of the multilingual, supranational law of the European Union.

Abstract

Fundamental legal-linguistic research includes next to monolingual approaches to the legal language also comparative approaches. Meanwhile, the epistemic value of comparative approaches is unclear in legal linguistics. Therefore, in this article different legal-linguistic comparative approaches will be scrutinized, and their perspectives made operational in legal linguistics. Especially, the traditional analysis of legal terminology gains momentum here in the context of discursive comparative approaches. The multilingual origins and the intertextual mode of existence and development of the legal language are identified as its characteristic features. They also shape processes in which the language of the global law emerges in the contemporary social reality.

Abstract

Authors of translations of legal codes do not usually inform about their approach to solving translational problems. One of the reasons is the firm belief in the need for a faithful and thus literal translation of the output text. This unlawful approach creates a field for unfounded creation of so-called Equivalent terminology. Consequently, translations contain expressions whose meanings in the target language are incomprehensible or cannot be determined by reference to the doctrine or case-law. A legal approach based on subject knowledge and a precise methodology for determining interlingua equivalents eliminates the problems arising from a non-lawful approach. In the analytical part of the article there is presented a methodology of the legal approach to solving translational problems and the method of its practical application.

Abstract

Research into ‘translation universals’ in legal translation is a relatively new field, which still needs to be expanded with further empirical studies. The few studies conducted so far fall into two main categories: a) analyses that explore the typical features of European legalese as translated language against national legal language; b) studies based on corpora of national legal language translated into other national languages.

The present paper is framed within the second category and aims at contributing to the academic debate on translation universals applied to legal language; more specifically, it aims at testing the methodology adopted to study translation universals on a bilingual parallel corpus of judgments delivered by the Spanish Constitutional Court (Tribunal Constitucional, TC) translated for informative purposes into English.

The corpus-based analysis, carried out mainly quantitatively, includes the comparison with a larger corpus of original judgments delivered by the UK Supreme Court (UKSC) with the final objective of testing some indicators of simplification, explicitation, normalisation, levelling out, interference, untypical collocation.

Preliminary results are promising, even though it is not possible to identify robust and homogeneous trends.

Abstract

Therapeutic jurisprudence is an interdisciplinary examination on the effect of the law on the mental and emotional health of those implicated in the judicial process. It concentrates primarily on the psychological impact of legal rules and procedures, as well as on the behaviour of legal players. TJ is a tool not often used in the promotion of linguistic rights. Endowed with a double mission, both normative and descriptive, TJ makes it possible to measure the impact of health incidences. In providing legal reformers with more precise tools to assess the health impacts of new linguistic rights standards TJ offers such a path of implementation of linguistic rights – not only from the formal point of view, but by keeping in mind their actual effectiveness – integrating law and languages in a way to mitigate their consequences on a population’s health.