Legal terminology of the Ukrainian language and the process of its creation

: pp. 120 - 123
Kyiv Taras Shevchenko National University

The article is devoted to the law terminology as one of the oldest layer of terminology vocabulary in Ukrainian language. The article analyses main features, summarizes information about the current state and perspectives of modern law terminology. It also differentiates the concepts of “term”, “terminology” and “terminology system”.

Jurisprudence (from Lat. knowledge of the law) – is a set of legal sciences. It is used to describe the theoretical functioning in the field of law and practice. The more perfect law, the clearer it regulates social relations, the more important is the need for adequate to professional needs and linguistically verifiable, standardized terminology apparatus.

Legal terminology – is the oldest layer of terminology vocabulary of the Ukrainian language, reaching with its roots to the deep preliterate past, when law existed in its original form – the form of customs and traditions. Customary law is recorded in the first law written documents of the period of Kievan Rus: Rus Treaties with the Greeks 907, 911 and 944 years, Ruska Pravda and other documents of prince legislation that gives us, as noted by I. Franco in "Sketches of the history of Ukrainian-Russian Literature to 1890" (назву краще подати в оригіналі, але латинськими літерами), "the oldest examples of assembly language and legal terminology of the pre-Christian Rus of Xth c." [2, p. 13].

The genesis and development of the Ukrainian legal terminology is closely related to the origins and history of national law, Ukrainian statehood and legislation, the history of Ukrainian language and science. The incipience and the formation of Ukrainian law terminology occurred in extremely difficult and unfavorable historical and political conditions. However, even in a stateless "juices of genealogical roots nourished it" and it is developing, changing, and being significantly influenced by other languages, not only retained the core of terminology specific vocabulary, but also expanded it on its own ethno-linguistic basis by mobilizing domestic word-formative resources but also enriched it with other language legal terms and terminology elements, including international, contributed to the integration of Ukrainian and European legal science and culture [2, p. 13].

Legal Terminology as a subject of the analysis – is a terminological system, which is currently in a state of formation. Therefore, the study of general trends of its development, research of its derivational capacities, including performance/unproductive derivational types are relevant both in theoretical and in practical aspects.

Urgency of this article is determined by:

●    Ukrainian society’s need to ensure language support in terminology formation linguistic process, development of legal terminology;

●    need for further linguistic study of legal terms as a system of concepts of a special branch of scientific knowledge;

●    need for a thorough study of stylistic use of law terms for their standardization and codification;

●    linguistic study of law terms, reflecting the system of concepts of a special branch of science.

The article focused on the expression of characteristics of creation, development and functioning of legal terminology, clarifying of peculiarities of legal terminology of Ukrainian language.

Purpose of the article is to reveal features of creation, development and functioning of the legal terminology in the Ukrainian legal terminology, establish characteristics of Ukrainian legal terminology as a representative of the trends of the relevant sublanguage, and difficulties in the process of semantic interpretation of legal texts, and ways to overcome them.

The novelty is defined by a complex multi-dimensional approach to the law terms. The paper analyzes the productivity of terminology formation resources of Ukrainian law potential, disclosed the possible ways of improving the legal terminology from linguistic view.

Despite the national revival in the field of terminology and a number of valuable works on this topic since the XX century. (O. O. Reformatsky, V. V. Vinogradov, G. A. Vinokur, V. A. Zvehintsev, V. M. Leychik, S. V. Gryniov, B. M. Golovin, O. V. Superanska, J. D. Apresyan, V. G. Hook, V. P. Danilenko, D. S. Lotte, I. I. Kovalika, A. V. Kryzhanivska, T. I. Panko, T. R. Kiyak, L. A. Symonenko etc.) in Ukraine language of law are not analyzed enough. The question of the primary ordering of Ukrainian conceptual apparatus and further study of legal terminology issues is being analyzed by such Ukrainian linguists and lawyers as O. Serbenska, G. Onufrienko, N. Rukolyanska, S. Holovatyy, Y. Zaitsev, I. Usenko, N. Artykutsa, Y. Pradid, O. Yurchuk, B. Stetsyuk, I. Humovska, S. Kravchenko, V. Demchenko, I. Kochan, A. Tokarska, G. Izhakevych, O. Kopylenko, V. A. Radetzky, V. A. Simonyuk, Z. Trostyuk and others.

Legal term correlates with the concept as the element of legal knowledge and serves as its symbolic (language) model, represented in a sound and literal forms. The concept, its content, scope and structure is logical and semantic basis for the creation of terminology as a definition, which accumulates the most significant features and relationships of the phenomenon of law.

The term of law is formulated as general legal (common in all areas of law), disciplinary (characteristic for the particular area of law), interdisciplinary (relevant to two or more spheres of law), adjacent to other areas of activity.

Very important feature of legal terms – is their close relationship with both outlook and ideology of the ruling class with different political and legal theories, social traditions and legal experience.

A term created and operated in jurisprudence is not necessary fixed in laws, but has its own scientific nature (rule-making, justice, legal system, the disposition of legal norms). In the scientific literature, which reflects the forming process of legal knowledge, a legal term may have several scientific formulations which show different scientific approaches and schools, correctly interpreting different aspects of the same legal concepts.

Modern terminology characterizes differential features of term which generally distinguish it from common words: consistency, accuracy and desire for uniqueness, relatively independence of context, the presence of definitions, formality, standardization, concise, rigorous regulatory, stylistic neutrality, lack of expressiveness, correctness.

Beside law terms – generalized marks of concept of law (arbitration, insanity, lawsuit, legal, legislative power), in the jurisprudential texts nomenclature a system of specific names of specific legal objects: national and international bodies and organizations, positions, documents, state awards is widely used (Appeals Chamber of the European Court of Human Rights, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Law of Ukraine "On the National Bank of Ukraine", Honored Lawyer of Ukraine).

Each term of law can be characterized by origin, semantics, system relations, grammatical structure, function and manner of its creation and functional parameters.

By origin it can be specific (держава, відповідач, закон, заповіт, злочин, кара, право, правосуддя, суд, уряд) and borrowed (абандон (франц.), авізо (італ.), вексель (нім.), бюджет (англ.), евтаназія (грец.), омбудсмен (швед.), юриспруденція (лат.), гетьман (польс.). Based on the combination of national and borrowed terms and term elements a significant amount of terminological units is generated (нормотворчість, кримінально-виконавче право, експертний висновок, імунітет свідка).

Peculiar kind of borrowing is international terms used in many languages and have a common source of origin. For example, terms taken from Latin such as алібі, архів, агент, адвокат, референдум, акцепт, юриспруденція; from Greek – дактилоскопія, амністія; borrowed from the French term анкета, арбітраж, паспорт etc. copied by means of the native language in a foreign language terms are borrowings (демократія → народовладдя, інтернаціональний → міжнародний). A significant segment of term apparatus of jurisprudence is formed from Ukrainian tokens: допит, злочин, свідок, позивач, позов, відповідач, очевидець etc..

By semantics law term can be monosemantic or polysemantic. Old term right for the different stages of language development is used to name a few, usually related concepts (д.-р. судъ “процес”, “судова справа”, “дізнання”, “закон”, “судовий орган”, “вирок”, “пеня”, “покарання”).

Within the terminology system of law units are united by system-meaning connections: genus-specific (юрист – адвокат; акт – акт законодавчої влади – акт органу виконавчої влади й управління); synonymous (правознавство – юриспруденція; кримінальний – карний; правовий – правничий – правний – юридичний); antonymic (обвинувачення – захист; законно – незаконно; об’єктивне право – суб’єктивне право).

By structure terms can be simple (word) or composite (phrase).

Terms-words by lexical and grammatical affiliation – are nouns (право, суддя, усиновлення, делікт), adjectives (правовий, законний, злочинний), verbs (апелювати, заарештовувати, ув’язнити), adverbs (беззаконно, злочинно, неумисно, умовно).

Composite terms can have two-, three-, four-and many components. The most common are composite terms with two and three components: adjective + noun (криміналістична експертиза), noun + noun (права людини, оголошення померлим), adjective + adjective + noun (цивільні правові відносини), noun + noun + noun (право володіння майном), noun + adjective + noun (приятгнення до кримінальної відповідальності), verb + noun (віддавати під суду), verb + adjective + noun (порушувати судову справу) etc. Multicomponents composite terms which describe a concept of law are inseparable, motivated semantic unity (правове регулювання ринку цінних паперів, матеріальна відповідальність членів колективного сільськогосподарського підприємства).

Ukrainian traditional means of terms creation are: “affixation (заволодіння, правник, підсудність), suffixless (розшук), compounding (судоустрій), mixed (законодавство), specialization of common word: відмивання брудних грошей, тіньовий ринок, легенда (опер.-розш.)”. To pithiness of terms contribute terms formed by substantivizing (adjective → noun): затриманий, оперуповноважений, підсудний, потерпілий, слідчий.

The legal dictionary evolves simultaneously with the development of law, that’s why we define historicisms and archaisms – one that came out of active use (війт, віра, послух, прокуратор, умоцований), and neologisms – terminological units to indicate new legal concepts and phenomena (міжнародний тероризм, євро, Євроюст, Європарламент).

Among the legal terms A. Pigolkin, in his book "Language Law", identifies four types of law terms: common, common which have in the lawmore narrow, specific sense, purely legal, technical [9, p. 7].

Common terms – are words of commonly used language (names of objects, qualities, attributes, actions, events) used in everyday language, literature, business documents, legislation. These terms are simple and clear. In the law they are generally accepted meaning that do not have specific sense (справа, закон, правопорядок, охорона,офіцер, документ, юрист etc.).

Special legal terms – words or phrases denoting concepts which reflect the state-legal phenomena, used only in law (юридична особа, позов, речовий доказ, касація, санкція, інкримінування, імпічмент, правовідносини, законопроект, неправдиве свідчення, etc.).

In the regulations we can fix numerous terms from different fields of science and engineering. In the literature, they are named technical terms (комп’ютер, фонограма, плівка, піротехніка, діапозитив, дискета, etc.).

As legal terminology is not a rationally organized, semiotic flawless system in terminology always exists the problem of organizing terminology, especially in legislation.

Thus, the terminology of law – is a dynamic system. It is constantly evolving and is characterized by such traditional Ukrainian terminology means as affixation, suffixless, compounding, mixed, specialization of common word. Recently linguists as well as lawyers are working on the study of legal terms, but this is not enough and it needs further analyzing.

1. Андерш І. Словник юридичних термінів (російсько-український) / І. Андерш. – К., 1994. – 322 с. 2. Артикуца Н. Проблеми і перспективи вивчення юридичної термінології / Н. Артикуца // Право України. – 1998. – № 4. – С. 56–57. 3. Боярова Л. Мовна норма і термінологія / Людмила Боярова. // Мовознавство. III Міжнародний конгрес україністів. – Х., 1996. – С. 247–250. 4. Гончаренко В. Т. Російсько-українсько-англійсько-німецький юридичний словник. / В. Т. Гончаренко. – К. : Либідь, 1995. – 20 с. 5. Кожевников Г. Закони слід ретельніше редагувати / Г. Кожевников // Право України. – 1993. – № 5–6. – С. 57–60. 6. Корж А. В. Ділова українська мова для юристів / А. В. Корж. – К., 2002. – 176 с. 7. Панько Т. Українське термінознавство / Т. Панько, І. Кочан, Г. Мацюк. – Л. : Світ, 1994. – 216 с. 8. Усенко І. Б. Українська юридична термінологія / І. Б. Усенко // Українське державотворення: невитребуваний потенціал / І. Б. Усенко; за ред. О. М. Мироненко. – К., 1997. – 559 с. 9. Язык закона / Под ред. А. С. Пиголкина. – М. : Юрид. лит., 1990. – 200 с.

Sheremeta N. Legal terminology of the Ukrainian language and the process of its creation // Website of TC STTS: Herald of L'viv Polynechnic National University "Problems of Ukrainian Terminology". – 2013. – # 765.