This paper seeks to demonstrate how the concept of generic competence (primarily intended for monolingual specialized communication) could be extended to address important issues in translating legal texts. First, generic competence is discussed against the backdrop of the related concept of translation competence. Then, a case study is presented which examines a closely related set of documents employed by the professional community of lawyers (represented by an English solicitor and Polish advocate) engaged in the specialist domain of probate law (legal process related to the estate of a deceased person). It is argued that both generic competence and professional expertise should be included in the range of competencies required for the translator of legal texts.
This paper investigates the role of (DIS)RESPECT a value premise in two landmark civil rights cases given by the United States Supreme Court. It adopts a corpus-assisted approach whereby a keyword analysis and the analysis of key semantic domains are used to identify potential values relied upon by judges in their justifications. The two categories of NO RESPECT and RESPECTED have been selected and examined as one domain of (DIS)RESPECT. (DIS)RESPECT turns out to be the only value marked by strong evaluative polarity and it is found in the majority, as well as in dissenting opinions. The analysis shows how the notion of (DIS)RESPECT has been integrated into the arguments of judges and it highlights the central importance of values and the related evaluative language for legal argumentation.
This paper investigates the interplay between judicial argumentation and evaluative or emotive language identified in two US Supreme Court landmark cases on the right of same-sex couples to marry. The analysis of both majority and dissenting opinions leads to two main observations. First, marriage and liberty are indeed emotive words and they represent two major sites of contention between the concurring and dissenting judges. Second, there are important differences within the argumentative strategies employed by the judges. While (re)defining the concepts remains the major argumentative goal for both types of opinion, the majority opinions tacitly integrate the redefined concept of marriage into their argumentation. It is the dissenting opinions that explicitly raise the issue of (re)definition in order to defend and retain the original sense of marriage.
Gianluca Pontrandolfo and Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski
Based on a 2-million word bilingual comparable corpus of American and Italian judgments, this paper tests the applicability of a local grammar to study evaluative phraseology in judicial discourse in English and Italian. In particular, the study compares the use of two patterns: v-link + ADJ + that pattern / copula + ADJ + che and v-link + ADJ + to-infinitive pattern / copula + ADJ + verbo all’infinito in the disciplinary genre of criminal judgments delivered by the US Supreme Court and the Italian Corte Suprema di Cassazione. It is argued that these two patterns represent a viable and efficient diagnostic tool for retrieving instances of evaluative language and they represent an ideal starting point and a relevant unit of analysis for a cross-language analysis of evaluation in domainrestricted specialised discourse. Further, the findings provided shed light on important interactions occurring among major interactants involved in the judicial discourse.