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Explorations in interlingual legal communication: A comparison of American and French terminologies

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Title: Explorations in interlingual legal communication: A comparison of American and French terminologies
Author(s): Nguessan, Kouassi Michel
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Kibbee, Douglas Alan
Department / Program: French
Discipline: French
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Language, Modern Law Speech Communication
Abstract: Law is a field of knowledge and a practice which is national to some extent since it relates to the political, social, economic and cultural structure of each country. The terms and the concepts which refer to each legal system are specific to that system. If such is the case, how is it possible to transfer the law from one language to another if those two languages express the law of two different countries? The central question is therefore that of equivalency of terms. To find an answer to this question, the present study compares systematically the legal terminologies of the USA and that of France. In the process of this comparison, selected bilingual legal dictionaries and legal translations are analyzed. The study is an attempt to investigate the field of transfer of the law, particularly between American English and French of France. Its aim is to contribute to legal communication across languages and national boundaries.The first chapter of the study introduces the theoretical framework which draws on (1) terminology; (2) bilingual lexicography, (3) theory of translation; and (4) language and culture. The second chapter introduces in general terms the field of the law and particularly the two legal systems under discussion, that is to say, American Law and French law. Chapter three is a review of the literature in the field and an introduction of the data--drawn from various sources of the law--of this study. Chapter four is a systematic comparison of the terminology of the judicial organizations of the two countries. Chapter five is a discussion of the question of equivalency of terms with special emphasis on the analysis of bilingual dictionaries. Chapter six continues discussing the question of equivalency of terms with focus on cases in which there is no equivalent term across the two languages, on false cognate and borrowings in the two terminological systems. The last chapter of the study is an analysis of legal translation. The study comes to the conclusion that legal translation is not easy since the terminologies, much like the systems themselves, are different. The linguistic study of the language of law is a great contribution to (1) general linguistic theory, (2) translation of the law and other culture-specific terms; (3) the teaching of language for specific purpose.
Issue Date: 1995
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/20813
Rights Information: Copyright 1995 Nguessan, Kouassi Michel
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9543684
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9543684
 

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