S. Li, Communicative significance of vague language: A diachronic corpus-based study of legislative texts, “English for Specific Purposes”, 53, 2019, pp. 104-117

Research output: Contribution to journalLiterature reviewpeer-review

Abstract

The paper by Shuangling Li reports on a study into the use of vagueness in legal language from a diachronic perspective. The analysis was conducted on the English section of the JRC-Acquis of legal texts in the time frame between 1958 and 2006. The study investigated the differences over time in the use of vague language in terms of frequency and its reflection on their role within the leg- islative texts considered. The research found that the list of vague expressions that feature in the corpus can be grouped in four semantic categories, i.e. “quantity”, “time”, “degree” and “category”. Results show that there is a slight in- crease in the use of vague language in the more recent legal texts in the corpus and that the most frequently used language features belong to the category of “degree”. The analysis also confirmed that vague language is functional to discourse in legal drafting in that is allows, for example, for a wider applicability of the terms contained in the laws.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)155-155
Number of pages1
JournalL'ANALISI LINGUISTICA E LETTERARIA
VolumeXXVII
Publication statusPublished - 2019

Keywords

  • legislative texts
  • vague language

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