Legal Linguistics and LSPs

Faculty of Modern Languages and Literature, Adam Mickiewicz University in Poznań, Poland


Parametrization of legilinguistic translatology in the scope of civil law and civil procedure

The research financed from the research grant no. DEC-2012/07/E/HS2/00678, titled: Parametrization of legilinguistic translatology in the scope of civil law and civil procedure awarded by the National Science Centre of the Republic of Poland (Sonata Bis program).

Research project objectives

The aim of the research is to present a parametrical approach to legilinguistic translatology and to test the application of the theory in the process of establishing equivalents for non-equivalent terminology and partially equivalent terminology.

The research will comprise theoretical legilinguistic translatology (which consists of four components: (i) terminological, (ii) propositional, (iii) explanatory, (iv) confirmatory) and practical legilinguistic translatology (which consists of translational directives).

Legilinguistic translatology is a subdiscipline of translatology and in consequence a sub-discipline of applied linguistics on one hand and legal linguistics, which is part of theory of law on the other. The object of investigation of legilinguistic translatology is translational legal reality which consists of: (i) translandive and translative texts, (ii) translators of legal texts, (iii) authors of translandive texts and (iv) recipients of translative texts.

Legilinguistic translatology may be subdivided, like translatology, into (i) theoretical, and (ii) practical legilinguistic translatology. Theoretical legilinguistic translatology may be conceived of as the class of theories about the legilinguistic translational reality. Practical legilinguistic translatology comprises directives which determine how to proceed in a specific translational situations and whether a translational action makes it possible to achieve the intended goals.

The project has theoretical and experimental character and aims at gaining new knowledge about parametrization of legilinguistic translatology in the scope of civil law and civil procedure in English, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian and Swedish. Providing such knowledge is a necessity considering increasing scientific interest in legal translation and the lack of a precise parametric model of legilinguistic translatology in existing studies, especially in the scope of civil law and civil procedure in English, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian and Swedish. Neither in Poland nor in Europe has a monograph been published in the field of legilinguistic translatology that would be a complex theoretical, experimentally supported study for such a broad spectrum of languages. All existing publications have fragmentary or practical character. The results of the project do not have to have practical applications, however a secondary effect that will be achieved will be a wide spectrum of compared legal terminology. Such a study is needed due to increasing international contacts which base on intercultural and intersystemic linguistic communication. In such circumstances, providing precise terminological equivalents is a necessary condition for the realisation of interlanguage communication acts. The parametrization will be achieved by attributing properties from translationally relevant dimensions to the objects. Each group of dimensions consists of a number of dimensions and each dimension consists of comparable but mutually exclusive properties. Distinguishing the elements of linguistic structure in connection with their semantic and pragmatic fields on one hand and the comparison of their semantics with the legal structure in different legal systems and cultures on the other will result in determining fully and partially equivalent terms in English, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian and Swedish in the scope of civil law and civil procedure, which will be a unique combination of more and less popular languages.

Research methodology

Research methods comprise: (i) the comparison of parallel texts and the analysis of comparable texts, (ii) the terminological analysis of the corpus consisting of scientific articles and studies, (iii) the method of axiomatization of the linguistic reality, (iv) the hypothetical-deductive method, (v) the techniques of providing equivalents for non-equivalent terms. The corpus consists of texts of civil law and civil procedure formulated in English, Chinese, Greek, Spanish, Polish, Hungarian and Swedish.

Expected impact of the research project on the development of science, civilization and society

The research results may significantly influence the development of legilinguistic translatology in the scope of establishing pairs of translational equivalents in the case of significant differences between the legal systems of each linguistic area which have considerable degree of semantic and pragmatic approximation; enable the creation of a formalized theory of legal translation and translational grammars for each language pair and of computer-assisted legal translation.