Corpus investigation: breach, violate, infringe/Rechtsenglisch und Korpora

Louise Frances Denyer, of (or connected with) Birmingham University, has a PDF on the Web of an 85-page paper (about half of it consists of appendices with language examples):
Corpus study carried out on three ‘legal’ verbs to demonstrate their similar and different usage for the purposes of legal translators and lawyer-linguists.

The paper aims to show the valule of corpus studies in translation and legal-language teaching. I’ve only skimmed it so far, but unfortunately the corpora used, which are English, Spanish and French, don’t appear to be specifically legal texts. The three verbs were chosen because the author’s students wanted to know more about them – I remember this problem with another collection of verbs mentioned here: abolish, override, set aside, quash etc.

The following is really only based on skimming the article:

Breach often collocates with peace, security, contract, confidentiality, rules, rights, and fiduciary (MM: should be fiduciary duty, not just ‘breach of fiduciary’ as suggested).

Violate collocates with rules, codes, covenants, terms, prohibitions, and court injunction; also with airspace. It is very common in connection with US constitutional rights, whereas in British English it can relate to minor offences.

Infringe collocates with IP rights, such as patents, copyrights, fundamental rights.

I found this article via the programme of a conference on corpus linguistics in Murcia this week, tweeted by Matthew Bennett, seeing the topic and then Googling the author’s name.

I have got a book on corpora that seems very good, but I am only part-way through it: Working with Specialized Language. A practical guide to using corpora, by Lanne Bowker and Jennifer Pearson, Routledge 2002.

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