Rusanova S.V. The Maritime Charter of 1720: Functional-and-Communicative Conditionality of Language Means


Svetlana V. Rusanova

Candidate of Sciences (Philology), Associate Professor, Department of Philology, Novosibirsk State Technical University

Prosp. K. Marksa, 20, 630073 Novosibirsk, Russia

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Abstract. The article focuses on the study of the language of the Maritime Charter of 1720 that was one of the key legislative acts, which enabled the development and consolidation of the new methods of combining heterogeneous linguistic means. The applied methods aimed at implementation of certain communicative tasks. The correlation between the variety of language means and techniques with argumentativeness, imperativeness and impact of the text has been proved. The research touches upon the issues of special vocabulary and the ways of including it in the language of the Charter. The proposed methods of interpreting new terms range from synonymous substitutions to encyclopedic definitions. The tendency to functional differentiation of the means of expressing imperativeness and the modality of duty in particular has been revealed. Western European legal documentation tradition is noted to have influenced the formation of the wide range of modal means. However, the Russian legislators tried to take into account the pragmatic needs of official business communication and the semantic and stylistic potential of competing lexical modifiers of modality. The research has resulted in the discovery of the peculiarity, which acquired the linguistic explication in the text of the Charter. Namely, it is the conceptually important attitude of legislators not only to the external side of performing the duties and enforcing the order, but also its internal motivation based on the moral foundation.

Key words: Russian language history, business language of Peter the Great period, legislative act, Maritime Charter, text categories, genre-and-stylistic features.

Citation. Rusanova S.V. The Maritime Charter of 1720: Functional-and-Communicative Conditionality of Language Means. Vestnik Volgogradskogo gosudarstvennogo universiteta. Seriya 2. Yazykoznanie [Science Journal of Volgograd State University. Linguistics], 2022, vol. 21, no. 6, pp. 88-99. (in Russian). DOI:

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