Exploring near-synonymous terms in legal language. A corpus-based, phraseological perspective


  • Stanislaw Gozdz-Roszkowski Department of Translation Studies, University of Lodz




synonymy, phraseology, legal terminology, collocational patterns, corpus-based analysis, clusters, legal genres


This paper aims to determine the extent to which a corpus-based, phraseological approach can be effectively applied to discriminate among near-synonymous, semantically-related terms which often prove troublesome when translating legal texts. Based on a substantial multi-genre corpus of American legal texts, this study examines the collocational patterns of four legal terms ‘breach’, ‘contravention’, ‘infringement’ and ‘violation’, first in the genre of contracts and then in the multi-genre context of the entire corpus. The findings highlight the area of overlap as well as specificity in the usage of these terms. While collocational constraints can be argued to play an important disambiguating role in the semantic and functional analysis of both source and target text items carried out by translators prior to the interlingual translation, this study emphasizes the applicability of the phraseological approach to English  source texts.

Author Biography

Stanislaw Gozdz-Roszkowski, Department of Translation Studies, University of Lodz

Stanisław Goźdź-Roszkowski received his PhD and dr hab (postdoctoral degree) in English Linguistics from the University of Łódź, Poland, where he is now Associate Professor and lectures on English Language and Linguistics. His research interests include legal linguistics and translation, corpus linguistics and phraseology. He has recently published his new book Patterns of Linguistic Variation in American Legal English. A Corpus-based Study.


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How to Cite

Gozdz-Roszkowski, S. (2013). Exploring near-synonymous terms in legal language. A corpus-based, phraseological perspective. Linguistica Antverpiensia, New Series – Themes in Translation Studies, 12. https://doi.org/10.52034/lanstts.v12i.236