Chapter published in:Applications of Pattern-driven Methods in Corpus Linguistics
Edited by Joanna Kopaczyk and Jukka Tyrkkö
[Studies in Corpus Linguistics 82] 2018
► pp. 159–186
Chapter 7Lexical bundles in Early Modern and Present-day English Acts of Parliament
This chapter analyses three-word sequences in Early Modern and Present-day English legal writing by defining their grammatical and functional distribution in Acts of Parliament. The method follows a corpus-driven approach: the lexical bundles are retrieved automatically from the corpus using frequency as the criterion. The study indicates that lexical bundles in acts extend to the textual level and reveals consistent word combinations on the level of the lexis. The study illustrates that the acts are established as a genre, and the overall distribution of both grammatical types and functions of bundles is rather similar in all the analysed periods. Nevertheless, textual organisation is more important in contemporary acts and textual links further become more specific, although early modern bundles already show textual patterning. Noun phrase and prepositional phrases also increase in contemporary acts, indicating a change to nominal writing conventions.
Keywords: lexical bundles, legal writing, textual organisation, Early Modern English, Present-day English
- 2.The definition of lexical bundles
- 2.1Bundles, legal language and genre conventions
- 2.2Grammatical structure and the functions of lexical bundles
- 3.The Corpus of Early Modern English Statutes and Acts of Parliament from 2015
- 4.Method of analysis
- 5.Distribution of lexical bundles in the historical and contemporary acts
- 6.Distribution of lexical bundles across different grammatical categories
- 7.The functions of bundles in legal writing
- 8.Diachronic development of lexical bundles in the early modern acts
- 9.Discussion and conclusion
Corpora and tools
Published online: 13 March 2018
Corpora and tools
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Early English Books Online (EEBO)
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The National Archives
Records of Public General Acts. legislation.gov.uk
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Cited by 1 other publications
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