Distribution analysis of argumentation frames in the text of court decision: Comparative analysis of law and sports science

The article focuses on comparative analysis of argumentative frames’ distribution in the text of appeal court decisions pertaining to different law systems: US court opinions and Russian appellate rulings. Text of court decision is a communicative product of the judicial discourse which is argumentative by virtue of its nature; however, the sequence of frames implementing the argumentative discourse dynamics is specific to each type of court decision generated within respective law system. The present article explores the applicability of frame analysis to judicial argumentation in appeal court decisions pertaining to different law systems. The current interest of the research lays in the fact that court decision texts represent a relatively regular sequence of cognitive argumentation frames that provide for argumentative discourse dynamics, and that can be viewed as a cognitive tool of developing judge’s argumentation strategy. The article aims at conducting an experiment on distribution analysis of the identified argumentation frames in the specified category of court decision texts and compare the traced regularities. The research methodology rests on application of the following methods: distribution analysis method, method of statistical analysis, methods of functional and structural analysis. The materials for the research included 50 texts including court opinions made by United States Court of Appeal for the seventh and ninth circuits and appellate rulings of Altay Regional Court (appeal instance). All documents carried the same type of the decision - affirming the lower court decision - and referred to criminal law only to preclude possible dependence of the research results on type of decision and branch of law concerned. In the research findings we came to the conclusion that within the chosen category of cases argumentation frames’ distribution patterns exhibited insignificant variability however they were not absolutely rigid. The research outcomes can find further application for argumentation structure analysis in other categories of court decisions or other genres of the judicial discourse. © Faculty of Education. University of Alicante.

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  • 1 Department of Foreign Languages, Institute of Law, Peoples’ Friendship University of Russia - RUDN University, Moscow, Russian Federation
Ключевые слова
Argumentation discourse; Argumentation frame; Court decision; Distribution pattern; Sports science
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