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On Legal Rhetoric In Legal Texts

Posted on:2008-01-18Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:H T XuFull Text:PDF
GTID:2166360215972775Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
In terms of linguistics, legal English is a functional variety of English with aspecific vocabulary based on the common core of the English language, which isformed and used in the activities of legislation and judicature. Therefore, there aremany specific words with special legal meaning. Moreover, the legal documentswhich stipulate rights and obligations must be precise, objective and standarddisallowing any amplification or emotional expression, so many particular features ofsyntax are formed.With its entry into the World Trade Organization, China will involve itself in theworld's economy more profoundly and widely. In the contemporary highly legalizedsociety, laws are closely concerned with people's economic activities. Overseasinvestors in China need to learn about China's laws, and to conform to theinternational business practice, we also need to learn about other countries' laws. Thusto know the stylistic features of syntax in legal English, which is closely related tolegal rhetoric, is of great significance to learners of legal English including those whoare fond of legal English, or workers of the legal profession, such as lawyers, judgesand translators. Nowadays, in our country and abroad, there are few books or articlestalking about legal syntax and its stylistic features, and the analysis is neithercomplete nor concrete. This dissertation is an attempt to do more systematic analysisof legal English, and is particularly going to examine the stylistic features of syntax inlegal English in a more systematic way.The present thesis is devoted to a study of legal rhetoric of legal English writing.The thesis consists of five parts.Chapter one is an introduction to rhetoric and principles and requirements ofrhetoric. The author introduces various definitions of rhetoric and gives his ownopinion. And furthermore the author relates the relationship between rhetoric andother subjects: phonetics, grammar, sematics and logic.Chapter two discusses the relationships between the law of the language and legalEnglish. In this chapter, the characters of the law are explained from several aspects: accuracy, clarity, concision, simplicity, and precision. And also the conceptions oflegal English and legal rhetoric are introduced at the end of this chapter.Chapter three shows that legal writing tends to employ unusual meaning ofordinary language, old and middle English words, borrowed words, special words,argot, formal words and coordination of synonyms or near-synonyms. Nowadaysbecause of the use of lexicon and archaisms legal writing has been suffering criticism.However, the author of the thesis maintains that the majority of these words, despitetheir looking archaic and/or ostentatious sometimes, make their appearance in legalwriting mainly for the aim of being accurate and concise.Chapter Four is on the sentential devices in the rhetoric of legal English. In thischapter, the writer makes an effort to find out how the language requirements for legalEnglish are achieved and embodied through sentential devices. Sentential deviceshere refer to variation in the use of sentence structures for rhetorical effect. Many ofthe most common schemes are discussed concerning the sentence construction inlegal English. The discussion is to be made from two aspects: 1)The types ofsentences as occurring in legal writing-from the outer sphere of se, ntences; and 2) Theprincipal means of the rhetoric within the sentence of legal English-from the innerpoint of view of the sentence, More specifically, types of sentences involve thesimple/lcompound/lcomplex sentence, the active/passive voiced sentence, theaffirmative/negative sentence, long/short sentences.Chapter five is the conclusion.
Keywords/Search Tags:law, legal English, legal rhetoric, lexical devices, syntactical devices
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