Deontic modals in RP-US Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA): A corpus-based analysis

John Paul Obillos Dela Rosa

Abstract


The marriage between language and the law is apparent in any legal document of whatever purpose. Hence, at present, linguistic studies on the language of the law are definitely in vogue. Grounded on Quirk et al. (1985) and Matulewska’s (2010) description of deontic modality, this corpus-based linguistic study aimed at analyzing the use of deontic modals in the 1998 Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) between the Philippines and the United States of America (USA). The study also delved deeper into the presentation of deontic meanings in the agreement by illustrating how power is promoted and relegated in the distribution of the two countries’ respective privileges and obligations. The results revealed that the most frequently appearing modal auxiliary in the document is shall, while the deontic meanings of permission and obligation outnumbered prohibition and volitional values in the VFA. As regards power distribution, the VFA gives more privileges to the United States, while posing more obligations or duties to the host country, the Philippines. In the end, it was concluded that analyzing deontic modals provided an easier way of interpreting and describing the directives and provisions of the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) as a legal document.


Keywords


deontic modals; deontic meanings; Visiting Forces Agreement; Philippines; United States; legal language

Full Text:

PDF

References


Adams, K. (2008). “Shall” versus “will” in business contracts—An exchange of Emails. Retrieved on April 13, 2017 from http://www.adamsdrafting.com/shall-will-must-exchange-emails/.

Angordans, J. P., Posteguillo, S., Beso, J. V. A. (2002). Epistemic and deontic modality: A linguistic indicator of disciplinary. Retrieved on April 15, 2017 from http://www.uv.es/piquej/PiqueEtAl_Epistemic%20Deontic%20Modality_2002.pdf.pdf.

Ashipu, K., & Umukoro, G. (2014). A critique of the language of law in selected cases in Nigeria. Mediterranean Journal of Social Sciences, 5(8), pp. 622-626. DOI: 10.5901/mjss.2014.v5n8p622.

Bondi, M. & Diani, G. (2010). Conveying deontic values in English and Italian contracts: A cross-cultural analysis. ESP Across Cultures, 7.

Butt, P. & Castle, R. (2006). Modern legal drafting, 2. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Bybee, J. L., Perkins, R. & Pagliuca, W. (1994). The evolution of grammar: Tense, aspect and modality in the languages of the world. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Chan Robles Law Library (2012). The visiting forces agreement between the Philippines and the USA. Retrieved on April 11, 2017 from http://www.chanrobles.com/visitingforcesagreement1.htm#.WPZ8PeE2zIU.

Coates, J. (1983). The semantics of the modal auxiliaries. London: Croom Helm.

Coulthard, M. & Johnson, A. (2007). An introduction to forensic linguistics: Language in evidence. London: Routledge.

Cruz, S. & Pariña, J.C.M. (2015). Legal English in court resolutions: A stylistic analysis. Paper presented at the DLSU Research Congress 2015. De La Salle University, Manila.

De Groot, G. R. (1998). Language and law in Netherlands report to the fifteenth international congress of comparative caw. Antwerp & Groningen: Intersentia, pp. 21–32.

Downing, A. & Locke, P. (1992). A university course in English grammar. Hemel Hempstead: Phoenix ELT.

Fleck, D. & Addy, S. (2001). The handbook of the law of visiting forces. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garner, B. (1995). A dictionary of modern legal usage, second edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garner, B. (1986). A dictionary of modern English usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garner, B. (2002). The elements of legal style. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Garner, B. (2011). Garner’s dictionary of legal usage, 3rd edn. New York: Oxford University Press.

Gill, B. & Reilly, J. (2000). Sovereignty, intervention and peacekeeping: The view from Beijing. The International Institute for Strategic Studies.

Global Security (2008). Balikatan: Shouldering the load together. Retrieved on April 15, 2017 from http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/ops/balikatan.htm.

Haigh, R. (2004). Legal English. London: Cavendish Publishing Limited.

Han, C. (1998). Deontic modality, lexical aspect and the semantics of imperatives. Retrieved on April 16, 2017 from http://www.sfu.ca/~chunghye/papers/morningcalm.pdf.

Hiltunen, R. (1990). Chapters on legal English. Aspects past and present of the language of the law. Helsinki: Suomalainen Tiedeakatemia.

Huddleston, R. & Pullum, G. (2002). Cambridge grammar of the English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

International Association of Forensic Linguistics (2013). Forensic linguistics. Retrieved on April 14, 2017 from http://www.iafl.org/forensic.php.

Kastrone, I. (2008). Need to and the modality of obligation: A corpus-based approach. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway.

Khan, R. B. & Khan, S. Q. (2015). Stylistic study of legal language. Interntional Journal of Engineering Research and General Science, 3(1), pp. 631-647.

Krieger, D. (2003). Corpus Linguistics: What it is and how it can be applied to teaching. The Internet TESOL Journal, 9(3).

Laude, J. (2014). US Marine held in slay of Subic transgender. Retrieved on April 16, 2017 from http://www.philstar.com/headlines/2014/10/14/1379973/us-marine-held-slay-subic-transgender.

Lauridsen, K. (1992). The meaning and use of the modals can and may in English contract law texts. Hermes Journal of Language and Communication in Business, 9, pp. 43–64.

Lebovitz, G. (2008). If I were a lawyer: Tense in legal writing. Retrieved on April 14, 2017 from https://www.researchgate.net/publication/228205518_If_I_Were_a_Lawyer_Tense_in_Legal_Writing.

Lew, R. (1997). Towards a taxonomy of linguistic jokes. Stidia Anglica Posnaniensia, 31, pp. 132-152.

Lillian, D. L. (2008). Modality, persuasion and manipulation in Canadian conservative discourse. Critical Approaches across Disciplines, 2(1), pp. 1-16.

Lintao, R.B., Arriero, M.R.P., Claustro, J.M.S., Dichoso, K.I.U., Leynes, S.A.S., Aranda, M.R.R. & Celino, J.R. (2016). Deontic meanings in Philippine contracts. International Journal of Legal Discourse, 1(2), pp. 421-454.

Lyons, J. (1977). Semantics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Matulewska, A. (2010). Deontic modality and modals in the language of contracts. Comparative Legilinguistics, 2, pp. 75–92.

Mendiola, C. M. (2017). A lecture on Critical Language Pedagogy (CLP). Philippine Normal Univeristy, Manila, the Philippines.

Mukhaini, Y. S. (2008). Modality in legal texts: An analytic study in translations between English and Arabic. Unpublished Master’s Thesis. University Sains Malaysia, Malaysia.

Nemenzo, F. (1998). What’s wrong with the Visiting Forces Agreement? Retrieved on April 12, 2017 from http://www.philsol.nl/A99a/VFA-Nemenzo-1.htm.

Palmer, F. (1979). Modality and the English modals. London: Longman.

Palmer, F. R. (1986). Mood and modality. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Public Interest Law Center. (n.d.). Legal opinion on the US-RP Visiting Forces Agreement. Capulong et al. (ed).

Quirk, R., Greenbaum, S., Leech, G. N. & Svartvik, J. (1985). A comprehensive grammar of the English language. London: Longman.

Radden, G. & Dirven, R. (2007). Cognitive English grammar. USA: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Robles, J. (2006). The Subic rape case in relation to the Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA). Retrieved on April 16, 2017 from https://subicrapecase.wordpress.com/the-subic-rape-case-in-relation-to-the-visiting-forces-agreement/.

Romualdez, B. (2010). Revisiting the forces agreement. Retrieved on April 17, 2017 from http://www.philstar.com/opinion/633800/revisiting-forces-agreement.

Schane, S. (2006). Language and the law. London & New York: Continuum.

Schane, S. (2011). Language of the law. Retrieved on April 15, 2017 from http://idiom.ucsd.edu/~schane/law/introduction.pdf.

Schiess, W. (2005). The legal writing blog. Retrieved on April 13, 2017 from https://law.utexas.edu/faculty/wschiess/legalwriting/2005/05/may-vs-reserves-right-to.html.

Solan, L. (1993). The language of judges. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Stanojević, M. (2011). Legal English – Changing perspective. Facta Universitatis, Series Linguistics and Literature, 9(1), pp. 65–75.

Stark, T. (2007). Drafting contracts- How and why lawyers do what they do. USA: Aspen Publishers.

The British Council (2017). Ability, permission, requests and advice. Retrieved on April 13, 2017 from https://learnenglish.britishcouncil.org/en/english-grammar/verbs/modal-verbs/ability-permission-requests-and-advice.

Tiersma, P. (1999). Legal language. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Tiersma, P. (2008). The nature of the legal language. In J. Gibbons & M. T. Turell (eds.), Dimensions of forensic linguistics. Amsterdam, Netherlands: John Benjamins Publishing Company.

Trosborg, A. (1995). Statutes and contracts: an analysis of legal speech acts in the English language of the law. Journal of Pragmatics, 23, pp. 31–53.

UKEssays.com (2015). Functions of modal verbs in European and British legal documents. Retrieved on April 15, 2017 from https://www.ukessays.com/essays/languages/functions-of-modal-verbs-in-european-and-british-legal-documents.php.

USAF Academy Legal Office (2001). Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA). Retrieved on April 12, 2017 from https://www.state.gov/documents/organization/107852.pdf.

van Dijk, T. A. (1984). Prejudice in discourse. Amsterdam: Benjamins.

Velasco, M. A. M. (2015). The Visiting Forces Agreement (VFA) in the Philippines: Insights on issues of sovereignty, security and foreign policy. Asia Pacific Journal of Multidisciplinary Research, 3(4), pp. 82-89.

West’s Encyclopedia of American Law (2008). Agreement. Retrieved on April 15, 2017 from http://legal-dictionary.thefreedictionary.com/agreement.

Williams, C. (2004). Legal English and plain language: An introduction. ESP Across Cultures, 1, pp. 111–124.

Zelenka, R. (2013). Modality in the language of legal documents. Unpublished Bachelor’s Thesis. Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czechoslovakia.


Refbacks

  • There are currently no refbacks.


  Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International License.

Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies
ISSN 1305-578X (Online)
Copyright © 2005-2017 by Journal of Language and Linguistic Studies