A Corpus-Based Study of Opinions of Advocates General of the Court of Justice of the European Union: Changes in Language and Style

Karen McAuliffe, Virginia Mattioli

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

This paper presents a Corpus Linguistics study of lexical features in the Opinions of Advocates General (AGs) of the Court of Justice of the European Union (CJEU). Using an interdisciplinary approach, combining legal studies, corpus linguistics and translation studies theories, the study aims to compare the language of some AGs’ Opinions, before and after the introduction of changes in the CJEU’s linguistic regime relating to the language(s) in which Opinions are normally drafted. The results of the corpus linguistic analysis demonstrate that certain changes in the linguistic and stylistic nature of AGs’ Opinions can be observed post-2004. On the one hand, those changes corroborate the study’s primary hypothesis that AG Opinions drafted after 2004 in non-mother tongue languages are stylistically simpler and less ‘fluent’ than those drafted (in AGs’ mother tongues) before 2004. On the other hand, the results also indicate that AG Opinions drafted after 2004 in mother tongue languages are similarly becoming stylistically simpler. These results are inherently interesting in terms of Corpus Linguistics research. However, in order to have a value outside of that field, they are best considered as a basis for more nuanced research questions, which can be investigated through interdisciplinary methods taking account of the factors of production of AG Opinions.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)87-111
Number of pages24
JournalInternational Journal of Legal Discourse
Volume6
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Dec 2021

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