[Corpora-List] Reminder: CFP International Workshop "Advances in corpora of legal English: investigating variation in legal discourse"

Paula Rodriguez paula.r.puente at gmail.com
Tue Jan 3 12:48:59 CET 2017

Dear colleagues, Please find below the Call for Papers for an international workshop on synchronic and diachronic variation in legal discourse, to be held at Charles University in Prague on Wednesday 24 May 2017, as part of ICAME38, the Annual Conference of the International Computer Archive of Modern and Medieval English.

Deadline for paper submission: 10 January 2017.

Further details can be found at:


Best wishes,

*Paula Rodríguez-Puente*

Departamento de Filología Inglesa, Francesa y Alemana

Universidad de Oviedo

Campus El Milán

C/ Teniente Alfonso Martínez s/n

33011 Oviedo

*Tlf*. 985-104570

*E-mail*: rodriguezppaula at uniovi.es *Web*: http://www.usc-vlcg.es/PRP.htm

*ICAME 38*

Charles University in Prague, 24-28 May 2017

Pre-conference workshop: Wednesday 24 May, 10.45-15.45

*Advances in corpora of legal English: investigating variation in legal discourse*

Convenors: Teresa Fanego (Santiago de Compostela) & Paula Rodríguez-Puente (Oviedo)

Keynote speaker: Douglas Biber (Northern Arizona)


*Workshop description:*

Investigation into law and language is extensive. For linguists, interest in the field emanates from the recognition of law language as a fruitful source of data for linguistic analysis and for testing theories about language and discourse. For researchers in other disciplines, such as psychology, sociology and anthropology, language as it operates within the legal system serves as a vehicle for understanding the legal process itself but also “as a means for investigating psychological processes, societal interactions, or cultural traits” (Schane 2006: 4). The approach adopted in this workshop is primarily linguistic. We will therefore be concerned with issues such as the following:

*(1)* Existing typologies of legal discourse, which are based mostly on contemporary usage, account for the heterogeneity of legal language by distinguishing legal texts in terms of:

· their degree of formality – *frozen*, *formal*, *consultative* and *casual* are labels often used in this connection; see Danet (1980);

· their communicative purpose – whether this is *academic*, *juridical *or *legislative*; see Bhatia (1987);

ˇ their mode (written vs oral).

Questions that emerge here pertain, first, to whether such categorizations can also be fruitfully applied to the analysis of legal discourse in earlier stages of English. Secondly, to the availability, or non availability, of databases adequate to carry out such an analysis.

To address both questions, the workshop will survey recent *developments in the compilation of** electronic corpora containing legal documents* of various kinds, both synchronic and diachronic. Among these, the following deserve special mention: *Corpus of English Dialogues 1560–1760* (Kytö & Culpeper 2006); *American Law Corpus* (Goźdź-Roszkowski 2011); *Old Bailey Corpus* (Huber et al. 2012); *Corpus of Early Modern English Statutes* *1491–1707 *(Lehto 2013); *CHELAR -* *Corpus of Historical English Law Reports 1535*– *1999* (Rodríguez-Puente, Fanego et al. 2016, Fanego, Rodríguez-Puente et al. 2017); the legal component in *ARCHER 3.2 - A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers *(Biber et al. 1990–1993/2002/2007/2010/2013).

*(2)* Both classic (e.g. Mellinkoff 1963, Crystal & Davy 1967, Gustaffsson 1975, Finegan 1982, Bhatia 1993) and recent (Scotto di Carlo 2015) treatments of the language and law interface have drawn attention to various lexical, morphosyntactic and discoursal features that are claimed to be inextricably linked to the language of the law: use of Norman words that have not found their way into general currency, heavy use of compound adverbs such as *hereof*,* whereof*,* hereinafter*, binomial and multinomial expressions (e.g. *within Singapore or elsewhere*), lexical bundles and phraseological units (e.g. *the benefit of*, *it is clear that*, *on the basis that*), intricate patterns of coordination and subordination, impersonal style and frequent use of passive constructions, conditional constructions, etc. The problem, however, is that exemplification of all such features tends to draw heavily on legislative texts such as acts of parliament and *statutory instruments*, these being, in fact, the only legal writings usually discussed in the relevant literature. The workshop, therefore, will also address the question of *internal variation across legal genres*: how and to what extent do legal genres differ from, or are similar to, each other?

*(3)* Other important dimensions of variation in legal discourse pertain to *diachronic variation* (how does the current legal language, or languages, differ from the historic one?) and to so-called *‘external’ variation* (how does legal language differ from other registers, or from other languages for special purposes?). The development of Multi-Dimensional analysis from the 1990s onwards (Biber 1988, 1995, 2001, 2013, etc.), and the recent advances in the compilation of synchronic and diachronic corpora of legal English mentioned under (1) above, have now provided the resources enabling researchers to carry out corpus-based comprehensive analyses of variation in legal discourse over time, as well as relative to other genres and registers.

*Abstract submission information:*

We invite the submission of abstracts for full papers and work-in-progress reports. The recommended topics include, but are not limited to, the various issues mentioned in the workshop description. Abstracts should be approx. 400 words (excluding references). All submissions (in pdf format) should be sent by email to Teresa Fanego at teresa.fanego at usc.es or Paula Rodríguez-Puente at rodriguezppaula at uniovi.es <rodrigueppaula at uniovi.es>

*Important dates:*

Deadline for submission of abstracts: 10 January 2017.


Bhatia, Vijay K. 1987. Language of the law. *Language Teaching *1987: 227*–* 234.

Biber, Douglas. 1988. *Variation across speech and writing. *Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Biber, Douglas. 1995. *Dimensions of register variation: A cross-linguistic perspective. *Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Biber, Douglas. 2001. Dimensions of variation among 18th century registers. In H.-J. Diller and M. Görlach (eds.). *Towards a history of English as a history of genres*, 89–110*. *Heidelberg: C. Winter.

Biber, Douglas. 2013. Multi-Dimensional analysis. A personal history. In T. Berber Sardinha and M. Veirano Pinto (eds.). *Multi-Dimensional analysis, 25 years on. A tribute to Douglas Biber*, xxix*–*xxxviii. Amsterdam: John Benjamins.

Biber, Douglas et al. 1990–1993/2002/2007/2010/2013. *ARCHER 3.2.* *A Representative Corpus of Historical English Registers, version 3.2*. Originally compiled under the supervision of Douglas Biber and Edward Finegan at Northern Arizona University and University of Southern California; modified and expanded by subsequent members of a consortium of universities. Current member universities are Bamberg, Freiburg, Heidelberg, Helsinki, Lancaster, Leicester, Manchester, Michigan, Northern Arizona, Santiago de Compostela, Southern California, Trier, Uppsala, Zurich.

Crystal, David & Derek Davy. 1969. *Investigating English style*. London: Longman.

Danet, Brenda. 1980. Language in the courtroom. In H. Giles, P. Smith & W. P. Robinson (eds.). *Language: Social and psychological perspectives*, 367 –376*. *Oxford: Pergamon.

Fanego, Teresa / Paula Rodríguez Puente et al. 2017. “The *Corpus of Historical English Law Reports 1535-1999 (CHELAR)*: A resource for analysing the development of English legal discourse.” *ICAME Journal* 41.

Finegan, Edward. 1982. Form and function in testament language. In R. J. Di Pietro (ed.). *Linguistics and the professions. Proceedings **of the Second Annual Delaware Symposium on Language Studies*, 113–120. Norwood, N. J.: Ablex.

Huber, Magnus / Magnus Nissel / Patrick Maiwald / Bianca Widlitzki, compilers. 2012. *The Old Bailey Corpus*. *Spoken English in the 18th and 19th centuries*.

Goźdź-Roszkowski, Stanisƚaw. 2011. *Patterns of linguistic variation in American legal English. A corpus-based study.* Frankfurt am Main: Peter Lang.

Gustaffsson, Marita. 1975. *Some syntactic properties of English law language. *Turku: Department of English, University of Turku.

Kytö, Merja & Jonathan Culpeper, compilers. 2006. *Corpus of English Dialogues 1560–1760*.

*Lehto, Anu. 2013. Complexity and genre conventions. Text structure and coordination in Early Modern English proclamations. In A. H. Jucker, D. Landert, A. Seiler and N. Studer-Joho (eds.). Meaning in the history of English. Words and texts in context, 233–256. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. *

Mellinkoff, David. 1963. *The language of the law. *Boston, MA: Little, Brown and Company.

Rodríguez-Puente, Paula / Teresa Fanego / María José López-Couso / Belén Méndez-Naya / Paloma Núńez-Pertejo, compilers. 2016. *Corpus of Historical English Law Reports 1535–1999 (CHELAR)*. University of Santiago de Compostela: Research Unit for Variation, Linguistic Change and Grammaticalization, Department of English and German.

Schane, Sanford. 2006. *Language and the law. *London: Continuum.

*Scotto di Carlo, Giuseppina. 2015. Diachronic and synchronic aspects of legal English: Past, present, and possible future of legal English. Newcastle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing. *

-- Paula Rodríguez Puente paula.r.puente at gmail.com http://www.usc-vlcg.es/PRP.htm -------------- next part -------------- A non-text attachment was scrubbed... Name: not available Type: text/html Size: 24365 bytes Desc: not available URL: <https://mailman.uib.no/public/corpora/attachments/20170103/edc17333/attachment.txt>

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