EXTENDED MULTINOMIAL EXPRESSIONS IN THE CROATIAN LANGUAGE OF CONTRACTS

Author:
Katja Dobrić Basaneže, Pravni fakultet, Rijeka
Email:
kdobric@pravri.hr
Summary
Multinomial expressions have thus far been on the agenda of many scholars interested in legal language (Melinkoff 1963; Danet 1980; Gustafsson 1984; Bhatia 1993; Carvalho 2008; Bukovčan 2009; Gačić 2009; Hudeček et al. 2011). However, they have usually been treated in isolation, i.e. without taking into account the wider context (Sinclair 2004). This paper therefore investigates the wider context of multinomial expressions in the Croatian language corpus of contracts and reports on its usefulness. The expressions are extracted from the corpus by means of WordSmith Tools 6.0. (Scott 2012), i.e. its tools Concgram and Concordance, which involves a semiautomatic analysis. The results reveal units that typically extend binomial expressions and we suggest ways of approaching their interpretation. We point to the fact that the Sinclairian wider-context-perspective can reveal both collocational patterns of multinomial expressions prescribed by statute law (e.g. prihvat prava i obveza) as well as the importance of pleonastic expressions for the language of law (e.g. isključiti sve prethodne usmene ili pismene dogovore). By focusing on extended multinomial expressions we suggest that some extensions are obligatory (e.g. zajednički dijelovi i uređaji), “thus rendering the basic binomial somewhat suspect as to its very existence” (Gabrovšek 2011: 24). Finally, we suggest that some of these multinomial expressions do represent doublets and may thus be reduced to single elements (e.g. nalaz i mišljenje).
Key words
concgrams; corpus; multinomial expressions; non-linguistic context; the language of contracts; wider context
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