Mgr Mikołaj RYŚKIEWICZ
University of Warsaw
English abstract: The incomprehensibility of law is no secret, but the depth of this incomprehensibility has remained insufficiently explored. Previous studies have supported quantitative aspects either superficially or without delving into their method. This work aims to expand the toolkit for analysing legal language in terms of its comprehensibility and demonstrate the results of using these tools. Dozens of Polish laws selected for the study were fully processed and analysed using the Jasnopis application. The results were then reviewed and analysed in the context of linguistic and social studies. The analyses: (1) confirm the profound incomprehensibility of legal language, regardless of the yardstick used; (2) quantify this incomprehensibility in relation to general Polish, providing a picture of how remote legal language is from reality; (3) point to the intrinsic peculiarity of legal language, as manifested in the variation of intelligibility and morphological parameters depending on the branch of law; (4) reveal the potential in studying legal language with indicators other than those commonly used. The research opens
up the field for a broader-than-before discussion of the communicative quality of legislation and, thanks to the context of general Polish, helps outline the socially relevant consequences in the form of linguistic alienation of law recipients.
Keywords: legal language, incomprehensibility of law, nominal style, jurislinguistics
Published: Number 4(37)/2023, pp. 79-97.
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