Keywords: differential seme, meaning, national labelling, non-equivalent, juridical term


The article is devoted to the research of Briitsh and American English juridical terms designating persons. This is the most numerous thematic group of juridical terms among others including terms designating different branches of law, terms denoting types of different insitutions of the sphere, types of legal documents, stages of legal procedures, procedural norms, types of crimes, offences, punishments in particular. The group of juridical terms designating persons is not homogeneous semantically. It consists of terms denoting representatives of different professions of the sphere, persons with assigned juridical rights or duties, criminals who break the law. Many of these terms have the same meanings in British and American variants of the English language. That is why they are called equivalent for both variants. Most of these terms are of Franco-Latin origin, as they were borrowed from Latin into Old French and from it into Middle and New English. So they appeared in the British English and penetrated into American one later. Some terms in the analyzed thematic group have synonymous or nearly synonymous meanings represented by different forms in British and American variants of the English language. The analyzed group also comprises other types of terms. Such terms are not equal in meanings or their shades. That is why they are called non-equivalent terms for analyzed variants of the English language. The categorial semes of their meanings are the same or practically the same in both variants. The differential semes of meanings of these terms can differ not only qualitatively, but also quantitavely. Their quality reveals in the shades of meanings or their differences. Quantitative differences reveal in widening of the denotative meaning of the term in one variant of the English language (British or American) and its narrowing in another variant correspondently. Most of non-equivalent terms from the analyzed thematic group have nationally marked semes. Such semes reveal and characterize national and cultural peculiarities of the development of British and American legal and juridical system somehow.


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