This article investigates with word-order patterns that are traditionally acknowledged as distinctive features of legal Italian: subject-predicate inversions, adjectives before nouns, past and present participle forms used as adjectives before nouns, adverbs before verbs. Two innovative approaches are adopted: the automatic analysis of an electronic corpus is conducted by means of dedicated software whose pros and cons are discussed for each application and monolingual subcorpora are compared comprising texts drafted in two different legal systems. The comparison shows that the judgments of the Italian Court of Cassation feature more distinctive word-order patterns in terms of both the linguistic types involved and the total number of tokens, whereas the texts of the Court of Justice of the EuropeanUnion stand out for the high frequency of a limited number of types and the texts of the Appeal Court of Canton Ticino feature a wider variety of lemmas. Finding a functional explanation for those differences may be useful since the word-order patterns under investigation are among the traits that ought to be simplified in order to achieve plain language in legal texts.

Ordine delle parole nell’italiano delle sentenze: alcune misurazioni su corpora elettronici

ONDELLI, STEFANO
2014

Abstract

This article investigates with word-order patterns that are traditionally acknowledged as distinctive features of legal Italian: subject-predicate inversions, adjectives before nouns, past and present participle forms used as adjectives before nouns, adverbs before verbs. Two innovative approaches are adopted: the automatic analysis of an electronic corpus is conducted by means of dedicated software whose pros and cons are discussed for each application and monolingual subcorpora are compared comprising texts drafted in two different legal systems. The comparison shows that the judgments of the Italian Court of Cassation feature more distinctive word-order patterns in terms of both the linguistic types involved and the total number of tokens, whereas the texts of the Court of Justice of the EuropeanUnion stand out for the high frequency of a limited number of types and the texts of the Appeal Court of Canton Ticino feature a wider variety of lemmas. Finding a functional explanation for those differences may be useful since the word-order patterns under investigation are among the traits that ought to be simplified in order to achieve plain language in legal texts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/11368/2831601
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