Semantic Relations between Legal Terms. A Case Study of the Intralingual Relation of Synonymy

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Abstract

The author intends to present a possibility of parametrising legal terminology in order to reveal semantic and systemic relations at the intralingual and interlingual levels. The scope of the research comprises selected legal terminology from the following legal systems: Polish, British, American and European Union. The research methods used include: (i) the analysis of comparable texts, (ii) the method of parametrisation of the legal linguistic reality, (iii) the concept of adjusting translation to the communicative needs and requirements of the recipient community. The research hypothesis is that parametrisation of legal terminology in respect of semantic and systemic relations may be a useful tool in organising and comparing terminology for the purpose of legal translation. First the relation of synonymy binding terms at the intralingual and interlingual levels in the light of systemic and genre-related relations is discussed. The proposal is illustrated with examples of legal terms and the networks of relations binding them in English and Polish. The conclusions are that such an approach is systematic and provides a translator with information necessary to render communicatively efficient translations.

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