An aggregate perspective on similarities between legislative varieties
Based on the description of EU legislative varieties covering EU directives and their national laws of implementation in 11 languages, we are interested in the extent to which Eurolects are similar to each other, above and beyond trivial genealogical similarities. We thus utilise a variation-oriented aggregative analysis technique to address these questions: (a) What is the precise extent to which Eurolects are similar to each other? (b) Are similarities predicted by extra-linguistic affinities? (c) Do factors such as EU accession dates and language policy play a role in shaping the Eurolect clusters? Our methodology starts out from a meticulously catalogued list of corpus-based and corpus-driven lexical and grammatical features. Through the observed presence or absence of these features, we calculate in a second step the aggregate linguistic distances between all of the Eurolects. Finally, in step three, we use a well-established technique, Multidimensional Scaling, to visualize and interpret the Eurolect landscape.
Keywords: Eurolects, legal language variation, aggregate studies, multilingual corpus, Dutch/English/Finnish/French/German/Greek/Italian/Latvian/Maltese/Polish/Spanish
Published online: 11 December 2020
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