«Bankruptcy» Concept Within the Legal Linguistics Coordinates: Russian–English–French Approximations
The article addresses the notion of bankruptcy as perceived by speakers of current Russian, English and French languages both lawyers and participants in professional communication from other trades. Semantic structure of the term is identified based on its lexicographic and regulatory definitions.
The paper discusses sociolinguistic implementations of statistical analysis of the spoken subcorpus of the Russian National Corpus. Given the considerable size of the corpus (about 10 mln tokens), an analysis of co-variation of various linguistic parameters with one of the few sociolinguistic parameters available – the speaker’s gender – may give rich and interesting results. One specific example of co-variation is considered in detail: the mean length of the utterance (in tokens). Comparing this parameter in public communication shows statistically significant difference between the speech of men and women (men talk more), while the same difference is absent in private communication. Another important parameter is the gender of the addressee. Again, co-variation is quite different in public and private discourse. In private communication, the utterances are longer when addressing someone of the same sex, the difference between men and women is not statistically significant. In public communication, the utterances are longer when addressing a woman, whether the speaker herself is a man or woman. These conclusions are consistent with the results of sociolinguistic gender studies obtained elsewhere and by other methods. Linguistic difference between men and women are not absolute but depend on the communicative situation (public vs. private). Public discourse is a playground for linguistic competition in which men are the winning party. In private discourse, competition dissolves.
In many languages of the world, the forms in the irrealis domain (subjunctive, conjunctive, conditional) are also used in complement clauses. The set of verbs that require subjunctive complementation is similar but not identical across languages. The paper identifies Russian verbs licensing subjunctive in complement clauses, either as the only option or as an alternative to the indicative. Basing on the Russian National Corpus, a list of these predicates is compiled, with relative frequencies of subjunctive vs. indicative for each predicate. The main result of the study is distinguishing two types of subjunctive complement clauses. Most predicates belong to the group which is similar to purpose clauses with чтобы, both semantically and syntactically. The subject of the main predicate is involved in the situation described by the subordinate clause by wishing it to be realized, by intention, or causal relations. The second, minor group includes epistemic uses of чтобы with e.g. сомневаться and other predicates in the context of negation, interrogation and other constructions expressing low probability.