Філологія - Вісник Донецького інституту соціальної освіти


PhD in Pedagogy, Associate Professor

Of English Philology and Translation Department

Alfred Nobel University, Dnipropetrovsk

The article is devoted to social and cultural features of the vocabulary in the administrative study and law area research as a complex phenomenon of all legal aspects on various historical stages of social development and its current position relative to other countries in the modern world. Substantive aspect of the research is the vocabulary of administrative and law area. Specific features of the vocabulary of administrative and law area are provided by pragmatic approaches to the act of intercourse and based on expansion of lexical knowledge in a given field of communication. The problem of criteria has been determined by the nature of the scope and specificity of its vocabulary.

Key words: the administrative and law area, future language experts, lexical units, socio-cultural competence, terminological blocks.


Nalyzing the French lexical system of the administrative and law area it’s important to study its social  peculiarities and challenges concerning social and cultural competence development to speak in the area of law. Every person who is eager to obtain necessary knowledge and skills to provide international communication in the globalized world needs to find efficient ways of international competence development, being an educated person and having got relevant motives [5].

State standard of higher vocational linguistic education of the second generation includes the development of socio-cultural competence of students, mastering of which is important not only for translators, but also for teachers of foreign languages, philology [4]. We must also take into account the fact that communication in the field of law is one of the most effective means of socio-cultural competence, and laws, decrees, international documents help attract students to the culture, traditions, customs, social norms of the country which language is being studied.

Topicality of the problem of socio-cultural competence of future philologists is obvious. However, the development of competence today is declared more, especially when it comes to administrative and law area. Students of language departments are not specialists in the field of law. It is clear that they have communication difficulties connected to lexical features of the given area, narrowness of communication in it; its fullness with terms imperatives and other linguistic difficulties.

The purpose Of the article is to study social and cultural features of the vocabulary in the administrative and law area as a complex phenomenon of all legal aspects on various historical stages of social development and its current position relative to other countries in the modern world [7].

© I. Lypska, 2012


____________________________ Серія «ФІЛОЛОГІЧНІ НАУКИ». 2012. № 1 (3)________________________________________

This complex phenomenon consists of a set of components providing the following Problems Solving:

In this connection, it’s necessary to select the following components of social and cultural features of the law area vocabulary, when getting knowledge and learning (French administrative and law vocabulary) is effective:

–  cross-cultutal components (lexical units in the area of national cultural semantics and ability to use them in situations of intercultural communication);

–  sociolinguistic components (linguistic features of the whole area);

–  social and psychological components (working knowledge in social and cultural scenario, national specific models of behavior using communication technology);

–  cultural components (cross-cultural, historical and cultural, ethno-cultural background).

Elements of social and cultural features of the vocabulary in law area focused on the development of intercultural competence of students, requiring knowledge extension, development of multilingual competence.

Therefore, modern education programs have to meet new linguistic and cultural requirements [6]. They should encourage the integration of languages, cultures and informative technology in all areas of communication, including administrative and law area to implement the tasks the modern society faces with.

Social and cultural development of students by means of administrative and law sector is largely due to the correct implementation of socio-cultural features of the vocabulary in the process of communication in a foreign language.

The most important feature of the administrative and law vocabulary is availability of special blocks of terminological social and cultural lexical units in the given area.

Special blocks of socio-cultural vocabulary of administrative and law area have been defined as a way to study lexical units with national-cultural component to form the lexical competence in the given area.

Such blocks function as a means of control. In addition, they have other important functions: a) functions in the content of educational material; b) controlling and coordinating functions.

The proposed special terminological blocks provide a gradual submission of information in the area of law. Information is in minimum volume, then it increases and complicated with terms and content.

Special terminological blocks have a determined structure. They contain a class of lexical units with socio-cultural components and related linguistic «software». Linguistic «software» is micro-printing, legislative documents which provide lexical units in the administrative and law area.

Having examined some problems of the vocabulary in the administrative and law area according to its socio-cultural features turn to the analysis of socio-cultural characteristics of the lexical units in the researched area.

It’s known the word has lexical meaning, phonetic aspects and grammatical characteristics and is inextricably linked with the activities of the individual. It is a nominative unit which is necessary prerequisite for sequential operations signifying a phenomenon in the formation of opinions and in the structure of expression [1].

According to G. V. Kolshanskiy, in the language structure we determine lexical units on different semantic levels, they, respectively, have exact formal parameters and semantic characteristics [2].

The funds of used lexical units have national character. New formations appearing, culture development extends the differences in the semantic areas of languages. The word represents an informative sign with the aim of communication and it is a full unit of thinking process [8].

To provide functioning of language communication it’s important to take into account the fact that information exchange always takes place in the concrete situations of communication (communicative acts) of each concrete communities or peoples [7].

In its turn such kinds of situations are provided by social and cultural factors, «openness» of the national language to certain changes of social cultural plans or its «closeness», «restraint» and «inaccessibility». It’s provided in a greater or lesser degree by political, social and economic



Processes, global agreements appearing, and international organizations’ activities. The number of language units with the same background value is increasing; they gradually acquire the attributes of international words.

In addition to sociality of these international, political, social processes, they have different (subjective) affect on different peoples. Language processing applied to a particular legal decision even to international one, correlated with the customs, norms, mentality of the nation and in the future reflected adequately in the dictionary of peoples [3].

Word-term has special meaning. Special terminology is the established system of signs characterized by certainty and stability [2].

The nature of the terms of administrative and law area can be found in their relationship with the commonly used words but the semantic basis of vocabulary is «narrow» and hardly goes beyond the law as a science.

On the other hand, the scope of the law sector is wide and covers all areas of the individual’s life, because the main purpose of this field is to determine the norms and rules of evaluation of individuals in society. In connection with this set of lexical items in the sphere of legal areas is predetermined and obvious non-dynamism of terms does not deny the possibility of their transmission.

Despite the characteristic non-dynamism of terms, lexical units of administrative and law area are mobile and defined as the transition from one sector of society to another without losing their functional and administrative (index) destination.

French vocabulary of administrative and law area is a system of lexical units, that in the functioning of the French language have one or more semantic meanings of law sector. These meanings are important only for communication in the law area; beyond the pale of the given area they have no meaning, even metaphorical one. This is the fact that demonstrates exclusiveness of law terms in law French documents [1].

The reason for the existence of law terms is the tightness and closeness of their meanings, where there is a close relationship between a word and a referent. Being exclusively legal by nature reviewer has no equivalent in everyday life. Therefore, «legislatism» of referent prevents the appearance of the original meaning or use of the word in a different sense. This is typical for concrete and for abstract terms.

Legal terms have no original meaning, because they have equivalents close by sense or synonyms in every day language, but these equivalents, synonyms are more figurative, more understandable to those who study language. Most words of exclusive accessories are monosemes [8].

In general lexical units of French law vocabulary with one or more meanings are commonly used in every day language. More often than not they have another meaning in everyday language. This overlay is called dual membership [6].

Thus, the words of double membership in the law vocabulary are lexical units that simultaneously have one or more meanings in commonly used language. This category includes key lexical units of basic law vocabulary. They are widely used by those who work in law and in law documents.

Among the words of double affiliation we can emphasize two groups:

1)  terms in which legal meaning is the dominant

–  l’attribution  –  attribution;

–  le tribunal  –  tribunal;

–  le parlement  –  Parliament;

–  les ambassadeurs  –  ambassadors;

–  les йlections  –  elections;

–  le prйfet   –  Prefect;

–  leJuge Suprкme –  The Supreme Court;

–  les Chambres   –  houses of Parliament;

–  la Convйntion   –  Convention, la рacte   –  pact;

2)  commonly used as derivative ones, and terms, in which law meaning is derived, and
common used words are the basic ones:

–  le projet  –  a plan; – les recteurs   –  rectors;



– les attributs  –  signs;

– les employйs  –  employees;

– les dйbats  –  disputes;

– les fonctions  –  functions;

– les reprйsentants   –  representatives;

– les textes budgйtaires   –  Laws on Budget;

– publique  –  social;

– causer  –  precondition;

– insister – insist;

– la restriction   –  restriction;

– le pouvoir  –  power;

– les partis  –  parties;

– limiter  –  to limit;

–  l’infraction  –  violation;

– se manifister  –  announced;

–  l’ordre publique  –  public order;

– un aspect organique   –  organic aspect.

The law term is a type of vocabulary, creating a system of law. Law in general and in particular regulations are intended to regulate relations between people. Hence the conclusion the main pragmatic orientation is based on the fact the law discourse is a function of socio-politically and economically regulating [5].

In the administrative and law area of communication relations between participants of communication have an official character and associated with the discharge of specific functions of the administrative procedure according to an outline of the hierarchical pyramid in the society.

Language encouraging the individuals is determined by the need to meet their social needs [4]. Typical types of oral communication in administrative and law area is official personal monological communication, dialogical forms and less formal group communication in dialogue forms [2].

Defining characteristics of the terms of administrative and law area allows access to the issue connected with their practical usage by future language experts.

Foreign language in general is associated with knowledge of words with lexical skills to ensure the functioning of the vocabulary to communicate. Substantive aspect of law terms usage is the study of vocabulary and the formation of lexical skills for communication. The special linguistic features of law terms can provide communication of future language experts:

1. Achieving the main purpose of terms usage.
This is due to the fact that the specific administrative and law area is the frequency of its

Use at the present stage of social development.

2. Development background of future language experts.
Vocabulary of administrative and law area is the so-called legal vocabulary, so, promotes

Background knowledge. Administrative and law area reveals the notion of law as a science, is the understanding of the polity of a country. Similar concepts are specific to particular countries, and, in most cases are unknown to foreigners that certainly complicate the process of communication.

Understanding is impossible without fundamental knowledge of communicants about the surrounding reality. It should be noted, background knowledge are implemented in some language media. These features are realities and vocabulary background in law areas.

3. Communication within the scope of law.
Because of a crucial role of world politics and economy, one of the important topics for

Members of communication among linguistic groups has become political events and economic problems. [2].

Knowledge of the vocabulary of administrative and law area, conglomerate which contains the basic political terms, help ensure full participation in such communication.

Besides, lexical units of administrative and law area provide pragmatic approach to the communicative act. A pragmatic approach may be focused on the quantitative expansion of lexical knowledge in administrative and law area.



The level of contact is determined by the nature of communicators’ relations, by the role and intentions of each participant in a given communicative situation, and among methods used by the person to realize their social role, one of the most important position is occupied by language or verbal, symbolic means, specific to each national society [7].

To implement a pragmatic approach is becoming more important knowledge of vocabulary that orients a person in a given field of communication. «Understand the language is to use only those phrases and symbols which use is not prohibited, which is the practice in the social group; to denote objects and situations in such a way as the members of this group usually do, have the same expectations as other members, and express their own opinions as everyone else, so to understand the language or properly use it is to comply with the rules of use adopted by this social group of people» [6].

Administrative and law area requires maximum precision in linguistic terms, therefore the above definition defines very high demands on communicator’s lexical level. This can be illustrated by examples of specific meanings of lexical units used in law areas:

La durйe du mandat   –  a period of mandate validity.

La lecture   –  reading of the law.

La Lйgion   –  Big Board.

La lйgion d’honneur –  odeof honor wording of the law (але не «сформульований закон»).

La promulgation   –  law promulgation.

La session extraordinaire   –  an extraordinary session.

La bureau de l’assemblйe nationale   –  Office of the National Assembly.

Le chefs de l’armйe –  Chiefs.

Le comitй  d’une dйfense nationale   –  Committee of National Security.

Les conditions d’йgalitйes   –  on equal terms.

Les exйcuteurs   –  performers.

Les officiers   –  employees.

Researching of lexical material in the administrative and law area includes the following procedures: 1) quantitative and qualitative characteristics of the terms; 2) determining the principles, criteria and procedures of the terms using.

Quantitative parameters of vocabulary are defined by: 1) targets of the language, 2) linguistic factors (a possibility to communicate), 3) social conditions.

However, the unit of selection is a word-meaning or semantic unit, that after its nominative function can be equated with words (unambiguous word, lexical-semantic variant, a word-homonym, an abbreviation, and complex lexical units).

We attempted to provide criteria of French law terms usage by future language experts.

These criteria have been determined as functionality, communicativeness and systematic. The last criterion in particular, requires that tokens were selected and presented to communicants as a part of semantic systems, which consist of core semantic fields and semantic periphery.

The criteria for selection of active vocabulary can be:

1) compatibility of words, its ability to engage in a variety of free communication: high compatibility shows rich linguistic features, the importance of communication;

2) ability to carry out official words corresponding to specification of their functions;

3) subjectiveness: required selection of common words, expressions and lexical units, indispensable for communication with a particular theme;

4) selection of the vocabulary of social sphere, providing free and natural oral communication in «dialogue form»;

5) frequency.

The study of lexical features of natural language, basic nature of the word as its sign and its functional cell, comparative analysis of approaches to the selection and organization of linguistic «tools» allowed reasonable approaches to identifying key criteria of French law terms usage by future language experts.

For the same selection, based on the above analysis of the literature, a number of other criteria has been developed. These include the following ones:

1.  Necessity and sufficiency of law terms to use them in the given area.



2. Availability of law terms. It’s connected to the problem of terminological complexity in the administrative and law area. This problem can be solved by creating special terminological blocks, which was discussed above and referring to different ways of semantization of new lexical units, translated and non-translated ones.

3. Lexical minimum openness. For full participation in the process of communication in administrative and law area a communicant has to be provided with a set of lexical units for communication, so that lexical minimum could always grow richer.

The foregoing leads to the following conclusions:

Substantive aspect of our research is the vocabulary of administrative and law area.

Specific features of the vocabulary of administrative and law area are provided by pragmatic approaches to the act of intercourse, based on expansion of lexical knowledge and implemented in terms of orientations in a given field of communication.

Lexical units of administrative and law area require high precision in linguistic terms, the accuracy of their usage.

The problem of criteria selection is determined by the nature of the scope and specificity of its vocabulary.


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Статтю присвячено вивченню соціокультурних рис лексичних одиниць адміністративно-правової сфери як складного законодавчого феномена на різних етапах історичного розвитку соці­уму в різних країнах світу. Було розглянуто основні аспекти розвитку вокабуляру цієї сфери в рамках прагматичного підходу до необхідності поширення лексичних знань у майбутніх філологів з метою спілкування у сфері права. Запропоновано критерії використання лексики сфери права, виходячи з   її  лінгвістичної специфіки.

Ключові слова: адміністративно-правова сфера, майбутні мовні експерти, лексичні одиниці, Соціокультурна компетенція, термінологічні блоки.

Статья посвящена изучению социокультурных черт лексических единиц административно-правовой сферы как сложного законодательного феномена на разных этапах исторического разви­тия социума в разных странах мира. Рассмотрены основные аспекты развития вокабуляра данной сферы в рамках прагматического подхода к необходимости расширения лексических знаний у буду­щих филологов с целью общения в сфере права. Предложены критерии использования лексики сфе­ры права, исходя из ее лингвистической специфики.

Ключевые слова: административно-правовая сфера, будущие языковые эксперты, лексиче­ские единицы, социокультурная компетенция, терминологические блоки.

Надійшло до редакції 8.06.2012.