Sushko-Bezdenezhnykh, M. Lexical Organisation of German Federal Constitutions in Diachrony

  • German constitutional discourse has two addressees: a professional one (lawyers) and a non-professional one (commoners), therefore typical lexical features of German law discourse undergo significant modifications in constitutions. Pragmatically, all constitutions aim at general comprehensibility that calls forth such invariant features of their lexical organization as the avoidance of long compound words, special terminology, loanwords; the presence of attitudinal words, and even some figurativeness.
    Such lexical features as evaluativeness, methaphoricity, and euphemisms demonstrate diachronic variations. Evaluative words are present in PKV, VDR, WRV and (especially) in constitutions of GDR, and lack in the modern Basic Law. The figurativeness is an archaic notion and «fades away» in diachrony, whereas the number of euphemisms grows.
    VDR and Basic Law are most professionally-aimed that manifests itself in the increased use of loanwords, law terminology, and long compounds.
  • lexical structure of the text, diachronic invariants, variation, quantitative analysis
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