In this paper, the lexical semantics of the pre-modal verb 得 dé and its development into a modal auxiliary will be discussed. Two different positions are available for the modal dé, the default preverbal position of modal auxiliary verbs and a post-verbal position. The analysis of the event and the argument structure of the lexical verb dé reveals that the different modal uses of dé originate from its functions as an achievement verb. In this regard, dé clearly differs from the other verbs of possibility in Late Archaic Chinese. The particular syntacto-semantic constraints of dé can account for its development into both a modal auxiliary verb, and for the particular functions it develops in the Modern Sinitic languages as a postverbal modal marker.
The aim of this paper is to establish the repertoire and distribution of verbal and adverbial exponents of epistemic modality in English- and Polish-language judgments passed by the Court of Justice of the EU (CJEU) and non-translated judgments passed by the Supreme Court of Poland (SN). The study applies a model for categorizing exponents of epistemicity with regard to their (i) level (high-, medium- and low-level of certainty, necessity or possibility expressed by the markers; primary dimension), (ii) perspective (own vs. reported perspective), (iii) opinion (based either on facts or beliefs) and (iv) time (the embedding of epistemic markers in sentences relating to the past, present or future) (contextual dimensions). It examines the degree of intra-generic convergence of translated EU judgments and non-translated national judgments in terms of the employment of epistemic markers, as well as the degree of authoritativeness of judicial argumentation, and determines whether the frequent use of epistemic markers constitutes a generic feature of judgments. The research material consists of a parallel corpus of English- and Polish-language versions of 200 EU judgments and a corpus of 200 non-translated domestic judgments. The results point to the high salience and differing patterns of use of epistemic markers in both EU and national judgments. The frequent use of high-level epistemic markers boosts the authoritativeness of judicial reasoning.
Corrigenda issued by international organizations provide a most relevant source for the analysis of translation errors and what they reveal about institutional translation quality control and correction processes. This study examines corrigenda published in three settings (the European Union institutions involved in law-making, the United Nations and the World Trade Organization) in three years over a decade: 2005, 2010 and 2015. It reviews the procedures used to introduce translation corrections in these institutions before presenting the results of the quantitative and qualitative analysis of translation-triggered corrigenda in two target languages, French and Spanish, per setting, year, genre, error type and severity. A distinction is made between content reformulation corrections and minor formal corrections for the comparison of diachronic changes and semantic impact levels of corrected errors between the institutions considered. The findings confirm that minor formal errors may have meaning-distorting effects that are as serious as content reformulation errors; when this is not the case, they rarely trigger single-correction corrigenda. The UN recourse to “reissues for technical reasons” for translation corrections and the growing number of corrigenda to EU legal acts and their implications for translation quality assurance and legal certainty are further contextualized and discussed drawing on both corpus analysis and consultations with institutional informants.
This paper applies a structured legal-linguistic profiling approach to EU “staff representation bodies” as a way to access domains that lie behind the public face of EU institutions and their texts concerning translation, language and terminology. The study commences with a legal-linguistic analysis of EU texts for references to “staff”, “staff representation” and “employment” in order to identify specific texts and bodies of relevance to the study. This approach leads to two broad categories: staff committees and trade unions. Information is sought from EU institutions about these bodies and their translation and language arrangements, and a list is made of websites available to the general public. These sites are then examined as part of the legal-linguistic profiling approach.
This article discusses preliminary findings of a study on the transposition of the legal concept of genocide into 131 national jurisdictions. The specificities of this transposition into national criminal systems, as well as those related to the international legal definition of genocide, are described in the first part. The communicative situations in which the concept of genocide has been transposed are then examined in order to show their scope and breadth, and to which extent they contribute to the transformation of the concept of genocide. Trends related to the object of transformation in the definition and their effect on meaning are subsequently outlined. The findings point to a situation where, despite having been the object of multiple consensus at the international level, the concept of genocide has been transformed by the vast array of domestic legal languages and legal systems into which it has been transposed and thereby reinforce the relation between the configuration of the language and law, and the difficulty of translation.