Kuznetsov S.A., Solovyev A.A. The Constitution of the Russian Federation in the Aspect of Requirements for Russian as a State Language

DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.2.3

Sergey A. Kuznetsov

Doctor of Sciences (Philology), Director of the Сommunicative Сompetence Centre, Saint Petersburg State University

Universitetskaya Emb., 7–9, 199034 Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-4096-503X

Aleksandr A. Solovyev

First Deputy in Legal Affairs of the Vice-Rector, Head of the Apparatus of Rector, Saint Petersburg State University

Universitetskaya Emb., 7–9, 199034 Saint-Petersburg, Russia

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https://orcid.org/0000-0002-6202-2163


Abstract. On the results of the linguistic analysis of the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation and the requirements that are imposed by legal discourse to the language of legal documents the authors reveal a set of obligatory characteristics of the language of the legal document, including definiteness, accuracy, clearness, stylistic neutrality, and language correctness. Application of these characteristics to assessing the quality of the text of Russian Constitution lead to finding some contextual gaps which might cause difficulties in understanding of some provisions in the basic law of the country. Violations of the accuracy and clarity of statements include those provisions of the Constitution in which lexical units are implemented in different meanings. In such cases, the distortion of meaning is possible at the stage of understanding (interpretation) of the verbal form. The articles of the Constitution also reveal a violation of clarity, which is accompanied by legal and linguistic uncertainty. The article provides examples of formulations that do not comply with the rules and norms of the use of language means in legal acts, as well as proposed ways to overcome these inconsistencies. It is argued that the development and application of a special linguistic methodology focused on communicative and rhetorical analysis of legally significant texts will allow more effective linguistic interpretation of normative legal acts, including the Constitution of the Russian Federation, as well as ensure uniformity of their application.

Key words: Constitution of the Russian Federation, linguistic interpretation of the text of the Constitution of the Russian Federation, regulatory legal act, criteria for assessing the language of normative legal acts, communicative-and-rhetorical analysis, Russian as a state language.

Citation. Kuznetsov S.A., Solovyev A.A. The Constitution of the Russian Federation in the Aspect of Requirements for Russian as a State Language. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2019, vol. 18, no. 2, pp. 27-36. (in Russian). DOI: https://doi.org/10.15688/jvolsu2.2019.2.3

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