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The Legal Language of Scottish BurghsStandardization and Lexical Bundles (1380-1560)$
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Joanna Kopaczyk

Print publication date: 2013

Print ISBN-13: 9780199945153

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.001.0001

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Short Bundles

Short Bundles

Functional Properties

Chapter:
(p.208) 11 Short Bundles
Source:
The Legal Language of Scottish Burghs
Author(s):

Joanna Kopaczyk

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199945153.003.0011

The functional analysis of the lexical bundles is split into two parts: the short bundles (3- to 5-grams), which draw attention to the overall formulaic character of early legal discourse, and the long bundles (6- to 8-grams), which indicate textual standardization. This chapter is devoted to the first group of bundles, analysed from the perspective of Hallidayan functional linguistics. Recurrent strings show which functional elements of legal texts are more prominent than others, and how this preference reflects the communicative goals of the texts. The primary function is referential and concerns the extralinguistic circumstances of text production. Thus, in the discussion frequent links are made to the socio-historical background of legal discourse in medieval and early modern Scotland. A very prominent group consists of textual bundles which create coherence in the texts. Interestingly, the interactional function is less visible than in other legal contexts, such as trials.

Keywords:   lexical bundles, functionalism, referential function, textual function, interactional function, performatives, speech acts

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