With the words of David Mellinkoff, “ [t]he law is a profession of words” as the starting point, the paper surveys some of the distinctive characteristics of English legal language as seen in vocabulary, syntax and discourse. It also discusses some of the approaches currently applied to account for the use of the English language in various legal settings.
This paper concerns the use of modality in the eighteenth-century periodical essay, the Spectator. First, I attribute the periodical's success in society partly to its way of negotiating interpersonal meanings. Then, to find out how the essayist adjusts the relationship to the audience with his edification in view, I examine fifteen essays, drawing on Halliday's system of modality. The analysis reveals that the essayist is likely to use subjective, lower-value modalities. Such modalities open up inter-subjective space for arguability of propositions or proposals, which leads to the expression of the essayist's deference to the audience. Furthermore, the modality is used in the way in which the essayist involves the audience in his construction of discourse. I argue that the strategic use of modality in the essays orients the reader not only to reception of presented ideas but also to social decency, good sense, and good manners the prose is based on.
This article is concerned with V movement on the basis of V features within the Minimalist Program, focusing on the paradigm of the English mood. With respect to do-support, nominative case, and V raising, I argue for the feature reductions of finiteness which took place after the loss of mood morphology in the history of English: from [+Tense, +Agr, +Mood] to [+Tense, +Agr] in the indicative, from [+Tense, +Agr, +Mood] to [+Agr] in the subjunctive, and from [+Tense, +Agr, +Mood] to [+Tense] in the imperative. The crucial criterion for Tense is whether auxiliary do can be inserted into I, while subjunctive Agr is there to be activated under head adjacency in order to check off nominative case of its subject. By contrast, I examine optimality-theoretic approach to clause structure, pointing out some inadequacies of constraint rankings on the evidence of historical data, and conclude that I will abandon constraint-hierarchical Optimality in favor of feature-oriented Minimalism.
In Modern English, however has four distinct functions: a marker of concessive conditionals; a marker of concessive conjunctions; a paragraph connector; and a topic shifter. In my research, I analyze the examples of however taken from novels, essays, electric texts, the Helsinki corpus, the electric form of OED2, and other corpora, group them into three functional-semantic components(i. e. the propositional, the textual, and the expressive)proposed by Traugott(1982), and then demonstrate that in the 16 th century, however was dominantly used on the propositional level as a marker of concessive conditionals, in the 17 th and the 18 th centuries, however developed into a marker of concessive conjuncts and a paragraph connector, both of which were used on the textual level, and in the 19 th century, however came to function as a topic shifter on the expressive level. Furthermore, my findings show that the series of this development is a case of grammaticalization in which, in line with general hypotheses of grammaticalization, unidirectionality and subjectification are combined, and that the factors to contribute to this development are pragmatic inferencing and reanalysis.