Between the language of law and the language of justice: the use of formulas in Portuguese dispute texts (tenth and eleventh centuries)

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

Abstract

Formulas are seldom direct citations of legislation or other types of legal texts, but they represent a normative and stereotyped way of stating things. At the same time, they are an important feature of charters, which stem from specific transactions, disputes, etc. In charters recording judicial cases, formulas play an intermediate role between the ‘language of law’ (that of a body of normative texts) and the ‘language of justice’ (that of records describing and legitimizing judicial practice). This paper examines the formulaic structure of pre-1100 Portuguese dispute texts, including both judicial records and charters with indirect references to disputes. It starts with some considerations on the form of dispute records and its implications in terms of formulaic writing, then proceeds to a detailed analysis of formulas and their usage in different types of records, ending with some brief remarks on the language of formulas. An attempt is made to understand (i) how dispute texts were constructed in order to become authoritative records, and (ii) how these texts relate to the workings of judicial practice, which has shaped formulas as much as these have shaped judicial practice itself.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationLaw and Language in the Middle Ages
EditorsHelle Vogt, Jenny Benham, Matthew McHaffie
Place of PublicationLeiden
PublisherBrill
Chapter6
Pages128–164
Number of pages36
ISBN (Print)978-90-04-37576-5
Publication statusPublished - 10 Jul 2018

Publication series

NameMedieval Law and its Practice Series
PublisherBrill

Keywords

  • Legal practice
  • Dispute texts
  • Judicial diplomatic
  • Formulaic writing
  • Legal vocabulary
  • Ibero-romance
  • Early medieval Iberia
  • Portugal

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  • Cite this

    Marques, A. (2018). Between the language of law and the language of justice: the use of formulas in Portuguese dispute texts (tenth and eleventh centuries). In H. Vogt, J. Benham, & M. McHaffie (Eds.), Law and Language in the Middle Ages (pp. 128–164). (Medieval Law and its Practice Series). Brill.