The question of how speakers or writers qualify their contribution to the communicative events they take part in has attracted applied linguists for over a decade. Thus, Biber et al. (1999) use the term ‘stance’ as a cover term for the expression of personal feelings and assessments, which they investigate across registers, i.e. conversation, academic prose and the news. In addition, Conrad & Biber (2000) focus on the different ways in which speakers and writers use adverbials to mark different types of stance: of these, epistemic stance as the formulation of the speaker/writer’s view on the certainty, reliability or limitations of a proposition, has been widely studied in academic discourse (Hyland 1998 and 2005a). In this context, epistemic stance has often been related to the widespread use of tools such as hedges and boosters, which respectively express the speaker/writer’s tentative or strong commitment to their own propositions. This paper draws on this body of research, in order to undertake a comparative study of hedges and boosters in another area of specialized discourse, notably legal discourse as instantiated in the genre of judgments. The study is based on two synchronic comparable corpora: the first one includes judgments issued by the Supreme Court of Ireland, whereas the second features judicial texts by the Court of Justice of the European Union. As such, the investigation draws on data from two legal systems which differ in their use of English (official language v. lingua franca). The paper present the results of a qualitative and quantitative investigation of hedges and boosters retrieved through corpus linguistics tools (Ädel & Reppen 2008; Scott 2009). The data shed light on distinctive contexts where Irish and EU judges appear driven by the need to intensify their discourse in various ways: for instance, Irish judges are observed to use the adverbial clearly for the purpose of stressing what they see as the preferred interpretation of the law. Accordingly, the findings establish a correlation between the context-specific use of the observed resources and heterogeneous legal cultures where intensification is used.
|Data di pubblicazione:||2015|
|Titolo:||“It must be obvious that this line of argument is utterly inconsistent…”: on attitudinal qualification in English judicial discourse across legal systems|
|Appare nelle tipologie:||Articolo su rivista|
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