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oa Litnet Akademies : 'n Joernaal vir die Geesteswetenskappe, Natuurwetenskappe, Regte en Godsdienswetenskappe - Sinskonstruksies kenmerkend van Afrikaanse regstaal : geesteswetenskappe

Volume 12, Issue 3
  • ISSN : 1995-5928

 

Abstract

Lekelesers ondervind gereeld probleme met die taalgebruik in regsdokumente soos parlementswette en in verbruikersdokumente soos koopooreenkomste en testamente. Die omskrywing van gewone taal in twee belangrike Suid-Afrikaanse wette vereis dat die opstellers van verbruikersdokumente onder andere aandag gee aan sinstruktuur ten einde hierdie dokumente makliker verstaanbaar en meer toeganklik te maak vir kwesbare verbruikers. Die doel van hierdie ondersoek is om te bepaal watter komplekse sinskonstruksies in Afrikaanse regstaal voorkom wat probleme vir lekelesers van verbruikersdokumente kan veroorsaak en tot gevolg het dat hulle nie geredelik begrip van so 'n dokument kan vorm sonder uitermate inspanning nie. Voorbeelde van problematiese sinskonstruksies word in 'n korpus van wettekste en verbruikersdokumente geïdentifiseer en bespreek. Voorts word ondersoek of die problematiese sinskonstruksies wat in wettekste voorkom, ook in tipiese verbruikersdokumente gebruik word wat vir lekelesers bestem is. Telkens word aangedui hoe problematiese sinskonstruksies in verbruikersdokumente verbeter kan word om verwerkingslading te verlig en begrip te verhoog. Sodoende word leiding aan die opstellers en hersieners van verbruikersdokumente gegee sodat hulle meer toeganklike tekste vir kwesbare lekelesers kan skep.


Lay readers often experience problems with the peculiarities of legal language, as manifested in legal texts, such as acts of parliament or contracts. The aim of this article is to identify the syntactic properties of Afrikaans legal language that cause processing problems for lay readers of legal texts. To date precious few studies have been conducted on Afrikaans legal language and the linguistic constructions that are typically employed in Afrikaans legal texts. This study thus represents an attempt to make a contribution to the field of forensic linguistics - the interface where language and the law meet. Forensic linguistics is an area that is not robustly researched in South Africa.
The definition of "plain language" in two important South African protectionist acts require the drafters of consumer documents to pay attention to sentence construction in order to render these documents easier to understand and to provide access to vulnerable consumers. Drafters of legal texts in contemporary South Africa should attempt to avoid problematic syntactic constructions, not only in English but also in Afrikaans, to give effect to the plain language provisions of the National Credit Act (NCA) of 2005 and the Consumer Protection Act (CPA) of 2008. Section 64 and section 22 both specifically mention sentence construction: "the vocabulary, usage and sentence structure of the notice". If sentence structure is considered to be a potential source of comprehension difficulty, vulnerable consumers are afforded the opportunity to understand the content of important legal texts that may have a profound effect on their daily lives if such texts are rewritten in so-called plain language with deliberate attention to sentence structure.

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2015-12-01
2016-12-10

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