The development of English legal language: changes in the use of deontic modality in UK Statutory Instruments and European Union legislation

Risultato della ricerca: Contributo in libroChapter

Abstract

Research has indicated that EU legal English is today a language variety distinct from British legal English (Garzone 2000; Koskinen 2000; Catenaccio 2008; Robertson 2010; Mattila 2013; Sandrelli 2018). The present paper investigates how EU legal English has evolved over the years and aims to shed light on the origin and development of certain linguistic features that set this variety apart from British legal English. The analysis was carried out on two purposely-built monolingual comparable corpora in English: EU LAW comprises EU secondary legislation in English adopted between 1957 and 2019, while UK LAW comprises UK Statutory Instruments adopted in the same time frame. Based on the relevance that deontic modality has in legislative texts, and on its high frequency in the two corpora, the study takes modal and semi-modal verbs of obligation, permission and prohibition into consideration. The analysis was carried out with a corpus-based approach in seven successive periods in the 62-year span in order to determine how frequently the expressions of modality were used in each time frame considered in EU LAW and UK LAW. Different patterns in their development were identified and possible reasons behind the trends observed in EU and UK legislative texts are discussed in the paper.
Lingua originaleEnglish
Titolo della pubblicazione ospiteBack to the Future. English from Past to Present
EditorMaria Luisa Maggioni, Amanda C. Murphy
Pagine217-245
Numero di pagine29
Stato di pubblicazionePubblicato - 2021

Keywords

  • EU legal language
  • EU legislation
  • UK Statutory Instruments
  • deontic modality
  • diachronic corpus
  • legal English

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