Dissertation
Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

Confirmation and Query of Widely Accepted Stylistic Features of Legal English

Author CaoBo
Tutor ZhaoLiang
School Southwest University of Political Science
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Functional Stylistics international human rights convention stylistic features deviation
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Many famous linguists have conducted researches on legal English and put forward some widely-accepted stylistic features of legal English. But legal English is a very broad concept, including various kinds of sub-branches and it is widely accepted that language styles serve language functions . Faced with these facts, the author puts forward the research question of the thesis: Do stylistic features of all kinds of legal texts correspond to the widely accepted ones?International human rights conventions are different from other kinds of law in the respects of legislative body, legal subjects, content and executive mechanism. Taking Functional Stylistics as theoretical frame, the author conducts a case study , contrasting the stylistic features of international human rights conventions with the widely accepted stylistic features of legal English.The thesis is roughly divided into two major parts.Part one consisting of chapter one and two mainly expounds the theoretical frame and historical background of the study, which includes the introduction to legal English and international human rights conventions, theory of Functional Stylistics and previous studies on stylistic feature of legal English.Part Two consists of Chapter three, Chapter four, and Chapter five. Based on the above theoretical frame, the author carries out the case study in the light of the widely accepted stylistic features of legal English. Results are made of two parts. Firstly, most of the widely accepted stylistic features of legal English are represented in the international human rights conventions. They are the frequent use of formal words, modal verb shall, nominalization, declarative sentence and long sentence. Secondly, some of the widely accepted stylistic features are deviated in the international human rights conventions which bears the features of absence of Latin words and phrases, less professional terms, highly-frequent use of vague words, rare use of the general formula“If X, then Y shall do (or be) Z.”In Chapter five comes the conclusion that stylistic features of international human rights conventions do not totally correspond to the widely accepted ones. In a sense, the research results prove the theory of Functional Stylistics in a concrete case study, in which the three meta-functions determine the stylistic features of the legal text, and meanwhile the stylistic features represent the meta-functions of the legal text in every aspect, improving the realization of the meta-functions.Enlightened by the research results, the author wants to point out that legal English covers such a wide field with many sub-branches, each having its specific functions. Therefore, general and indistinct study on stylistic features of legal English does not form a solid foundation for further study in legal translation and comparative law fields.. It is very important and necessary to conduct detailed studies on each branch of legal English..

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