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A Corpus-Based Approach to Examining Terminological Variation in EU Law


This paper presents an original methodology for examining terminological variation in EU legal texts using techniques from corpus linguistics and terminology studies. It describes an innovative approach which enables researchers to obtain robust, empirical data on the existence and extent of intra-lingual and inter-lingual terminological variation in EU law. It firstly examines the nature of terminological variation and then sets out a methodology which can be applied to study such variation in EU legal texts to produce quantitative results. It then presents a pilot study exploring migration terminology in English and Italian EU texts to illustrate how this methodology can be applied in practice before discussing the most significant results produced and their wider implications. The pilot study uses the diachronic corpus-based approach described in the methodology to identify variation in terminology both within and between the languages under investigation. This paper shows the effectiveness and application of this novel methodology, clearly demonstrating the degree of intra-lingual and inter-lingual terminological variation present in EU law.

Cite as: Clay, JLL 11 (2022), 142–162, DOI: 10.14762/jll.2022.142

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terminology, EU law, corpus linguistics, migration, terminological variation



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