The formation of the law terminology in German Civil code
assistant of the department of german language at the Institute of foreign languages of Eastern European national University named after Lesya Ukrainka
The article is devoted to the problem of formation of the German law terminology. It touches upon the process of becoming of the special terms in the main legislative German document civil code. The aim of the article is to introduce the hierarchy of formation of some legal terms in the German Civil code, namely in its General part. In the article we are seeking to discover and find out the general principles which underlie the change and development of legal terms.
Keywords: German law language, German civil code, law terminology of the German civil code, etymological legal vocabulary.
The knowledge of formation, change and being of the German law language contributes to the understanding of the present German law in special measure. The more extensively it succeeds, the result is more controllable. That is why it must be fallen back from the present very far up to the first beginnings as width and extent also have their own value. Indeed, the manpower of the individual is not really endless. If he wants to operate the whole information in a reasonable period, he must stretch himself in adequate borders. This has led to the concentration on the private law of the people like it happened for about 2500 years in the form the Romans developed ius civile that is well recognizable nowadays and even in these borders a restriction on the most important basic words is indispensable [10, 54]. Though numerous single investigations are already given to the most different individual questions from the feather of philologists as well as from lawyers. A detailed whole consideration of the private law vocabulary does not feel tempted up to now, and has not been created. So in this field exists a significant scientific gap which closing serves the general public and means for the scientifical investigators a worthwhile challenge.
Language of the law (Rechtssprache) or special legal language (juristische Fachsprache) is a subject of comprehensive study of linguists and jurists of Germany. According to definition of the German linguist L. Hoffman, special language is understood "as set of all language means which are used in specially limited communicative sphere for ensuring understanding among the experts occupied in this sphere": "Fachsprache - das ist die Gesamtheit aller sprachlichen Mittel, die in einem fachlich begrenzbaren Kommunikationsbereich verwendet werden, um die Verständigung der dort tätigen Fachleute zu gewährleisten" [2, 53]. G. Köbler considers law language as "special language in which the right finds its reflection. Law language is now a special language of scientifically educated lawyer …": "Rechtssprache ist die besondere Sprache, in der Recht zum Ausdruck gebracht wird. Die Rechtssprache ist in der Gegenwart die Fachsprache des wissenschaftlich gebildeten Juristen …" [4, 75]. Modern researches of German law language are characterized by interdisciplinary communications and are integrated in independent scientific branch – legal linguistics "Rechtslinguistik" [11, 63].
The various legal texts borrowed from original German legal sources act as the main unit when studying the formation of the special language of the German law, opening various branches of the right of Germany. The legal terminological lexicon meeting in these texts, makes the main terminological case of the legal thesaurus when studying the becoming and formation of the German law terminology. Subject of our research is the German civil code, namely its general part.
The authors of the German civil law code put to the point of their work a General Part (Allgemeiner Teil) as general phenomena comprising the whole totality of the German civil code [5, 74]. If one looks for precursors of this decision, appears the idea, that a differentiation was known already to the Latin antiquity between the following terms: Gattung (genus, Geburt, Geschlecht, Gattung) and Art (species, Sehen, Anblick, Gestalt, Bild, Stück) as well as between generalis (zum Geschlecht gehörig, zur Gattung gehörig, allgemein) and specialis (besondere). The first general introductions to the law was observed at the beginning of the early modern times in the attempts of the Franciscus Connanus (1508-1551) and Hugo Donellus (1527-1591), whose aim was to free obviously a little systematic order of the regulations of the Justinian compilation.
The legislators of the Civil Code 1896-1900 followed this structure and arranged generally respectable material of the first book in seven segments, namely segment 1 „Person“, segment 2 „Court cases“, segment 3 „Legal transactions“, segment 4 „determining the terms and conditions“, segment 5 „representation and credentials“, segment 6 „The usage of the rights, self-help, mutual aid“, segment 7 „Security detachment“.
So the purpose of our research is to track hierarchy of formation of the main legal terms of the German civil code. In our research we will consider the principles of formation of some main terms of the general part of the German civil code.
The authors of the German civil code devoted its General part to the notion of Person (personality) and its rights, although the term Personenrecht (personal right) is not used. In contrast, a Roman lawyer Guy recognized the concept of ius personarum (personal right) and put on the first place in relation to such notions as res (fact) and actiones (action, the transaction) [6, 123]. According to germanist Franz Wieacker we can also assume that this distribution rights from the very beginning comes from ancient Greek philosophy . The national right of the early middle Ages (500-1000) and the land rights of the high middle Ages (1050-1300) housed certain concepts relating to personal rights, however, there was no single associative building the section directly dealing with personal rights. Moreover, despite the Justinian’s knowledge institutions firstly lacked the expanded notion of Personenrecht, which with no doubt was preceded by a special term Person. According to the etymological legal vocabulary of the German language in the basis of German term Person is the Latin word persona . Brothers’ Grimm German dictionary, unfortunately without specifying a specific date, describes that middle high german term persôn was borrowed from Latin by the following characteristics: appearance, nature and role of a specific person in society [1, 241]. In turn, German law dictionary calls the first source of the Dutch document, dated 1281, where was used the term persôn in its broader notion .
Being based on indo-german word sta- (stand) evolved German term standan. Already in Old High German language existed noun stant with a value of Stand, which in Middle High German language extended the terms Sitz, Stätte, Bestand, Zustand, Lebensweise, Amt and Würde [3, 213]. The period of Stand bore in itself the concept of a certain social status, position, which already in XIII century was a period of legal value and was widely used in the division of public stratum from the nobility to the slave. Caste society was viewed as a society created by God and embodied values such as honor, reputation, honor and birth .
If we consider the next term Personenstand (the civil status of the person), we may observe that the first interpretation of this term occurs in brothers’ Grimm German dictionary [1, 156]. In fact, a written record of such personal data as birth, baptism, marriage and death in the middle Ages was adopted by the Church. As a consequence there existid the so called libri memorialis that belonged to medieval monasteries in the XIV century on the territories of Italy and southern France and were turned into a true Church books. These books contained all the important dates of the community members of the from the birth to the death. The data registering of individuals century remained the task of the Church up to the XIX, even when the Church books were of state and military interest. Although the concept of the term Personenstand was formed, but in dictionaries (dictionaries Nehring J. C., Manuale, 1687, Zedler, J. H., Universal-Lexikon, 1732, CMBC 1756, ALR 1794, ABGB, 1811), most of which were created in the XVIII century, it does not occur. Modern German law dictionary gives the following definition of the term Personnenstand, referring on the source dated in 1818: „Die Fälle, wenn das öffentliche Ministerium bei den Gerichten ... mit seiner Meinung gehört werden muß, sind ... wenn von dem Personenstand oder von Vormundschaften die Rede ist“ [9, 98].
For representation of research methods of scientific work, we considered hierarchy of some legal terms, but in the area of General part of the Civil code such actual facts as Menschen, Pubertät, Wille, Geschäft, Scheingeschäft, Annahme, Irrtum, Zwang, Drohung, Unwirksamkeit, Verjährung, Selbsthilfe, Notwehr, Sache, Gegenstand and Recht go back very far and have been recognized only in the course of long developments as those mostly already denominated and identified by the Romans. Other terms such as die Urkunde, die Stellvertretung, der Vertrag zu Gunsten Dritter, die Vertragsfreiheit have a shorter and clearer tangible history which can be summarized for the substitution in Rome into the sentence applying till the High Middle Ages alteri nemo stipulari potest which means nobody can contract for another. The German names are probably younger in most cases than the actual fact.
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