Sushko-Bezdenezhnykh Mariia. Lexical organisation of German federal constitutions in diachrony
Keywords:lexical structure of the text, diachronic invariants, variation, quantitative analysis
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
VDR and Basic Law are most professionally-aimed that manifests itself in the increased use of loanwords, law
terminology, and long compounds.