Professionals in various disciplines adopt significantly different lexicons to report their discoveries and arguments. Scientists discover, philosophers argue, whereas legal practitioners apply and consider. Reporting, as a ubiquitous linguistic phenomenon, has its disciplinary characteristics. In court judgments, it reflects the way judges identify the evidence of different documents or other courts. In the self-built court judgment corpus, the paper focuses on the way that judicial arguments are constructed through reporting verbs. On the basis of the analysis of the representation and distribution of reporting verbs in court judgments, the study identifies the reporting verbs with high frequencies in court judgments and compares these reporting verbs with those in the comparable reference corpus, written sampler of British National Corpus, which works as a reference corpus. It is found that (1) the tokens of reporting verbs in court judgments are slightly less than those in general texts; (2) the distribution pattern of the speech act verbs and mental verbs in the self-built court judgment corpus is similar to the pattern of two kinds of reporting verbs in the reference corpus; (3) judicial speech act verbs are employed to express the authority of the statements, whereas the judicial mental verbs illustrate the legal reasoning process with individual agents; and (4) there is a significant difference in terms of the reporting verbs’ frequencies within the court judgments and general texts. The results show that the reporting verbs in court judgments have their uniqueness, which may cast light on both judicial and pedagogical practices.
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Appendix (Order of Judgment Date)
Appendix (Order of Judgment Date)
|UKSC 2017/0185||UKSC 2017/0151||UKSC 2017/0080||UKSC 2015/0147|
|UKSC 2017/0127||UKSC 2016/0219||UKSC 2016/0204||UKSC 2016/0082|
|UKSC 2017/0110||UKSC 2017/0212||UKSC 2016/0214||UKSC 2015/0022|
|UKSC 2018/0045||UKSC 2017/0097||UKSC 2018/0011||UKSC 2016/0052|
|UKSC 2017/0096||UKSC 2017/0075||UKSC 2017/0060||UKSC 2016/0130|
|UKSC 2017/0214||UKSC 2017/0083||UKSC 2017/0016||UKSC 2016/0070|
|UKSC 2017/0158||UKSC 2016/0197||UKSC 2016/0137||UKSC 2016/0175|
|UKSC 2017/0072||UKSC 2016/0210||UKSC 2017/0053||UKSC 2016/0188|
|UKSC 2018/0013||UKSC 2016/0218||UKSC 2016/0159||UKSC 2016/0174|
|UKSC 2017/0211||UKSC 2016/0107||UKSC 2017/0131||UKSC 2016/0156|
|UKSC 2017/0124||UKSC 2017/0103||UKSC 2016/0192||UKSC 2017/0025|
|UKSC 2017/0159||UKSC 2017/0073||UKSC 2016/0185||UKSC 2016/0142|
|UKSC 2017/0200||UKSC 2017/0070||UKSC 2016/0152||UKSC 2016/0053|
|UKSC 2017/0058||UKSC 2017/0020||UKSC 2016/0132||UKSC 2015/0215|
|UKSC 2017/0115||UKSC 2017/0035||UKSC 2016/0170||UKSC 2016/0062|
|UKSC 2017/0092||UKSC 2016/0144||UKSC 2016/0226||UKSC 2016/0084|
|UKSC 2016/0223||UKSC 2017/0202||UKSC 2016/0150||UKSC 2015/0177|
|UKSC 2016/0195||UKSC 2017/0023||UKSC 2016/0111||UKSC 2016/0079|
|UKSC 2016/0227||UKSC 2016/0121||UKSC 2016/0136||UKSC 2016/0164|
|UKSC 2018/0167||UKSC 2018/0091||UKSC 2015/0166||UKSC 2016/0213|
|UKSC 2017/0132||UKSC 2017/0077||UKSC 2016/0148||UKSC 2016/0157|
|UKSC 2018/0037||UKSC 2017/0003||UKSC 2015/0243||UKSC 2016/0041|
|UKSC 2017/0141||UKSC 2016/0102||UKSC 2017/0135||UKSC 2015/0199|
|UKSC 2018/0080||UKSC 2017/0040||UKSC 2016/0166||UKSC 2015/0110|
|UKSC 2017/0160||UKSC 2017/0037||UKSC 2016/0165||UKSC 2015/0063|
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Cite this article
Yu, W. Reporting Verbs in Court Judgments of the Common Law System: A Corpus-Based Study. Int J Semiot Law 34, 525–560 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1007/s11196-020-09740-7
- Judicial reporting verbs
- Speech act verbs
- Mental verbs
- Court judgments
- English for legal purposes (ELP)