Home Releases # 13. 2019


Linguistics , UDC: 81.276.6 DOI: 10.25688/2619-0656.2019.13.14


  • Avdevnina Olga Doctor of Philology, Associate Professor
  • Devyatkina Vera Candidate of Philology, Associate Professor


Research of how a person is defined in legal discourse is very important due to its connection to the concept of “individual/identity” and anthropological notation in the sphere of law. The reconstruction of the notation is necessary to analyze and interpret legal thinking as well as to comprehend forming and functioning of legal entities naming.

The composition of the article reflects the move of the researchers’ thought. The conceptual basement of person naming is considered in the article: the notion of “person”, “individual” and its expression in word usage (functioning of such notions as “legal entity”, “court”, “legislator”, etc.)

The conceptually important for the research notion of “person”, “individual” is firmly defined in philosophy, psychology, science, law, and cognitive linguistics. The characteristics of an individual are: 1) social determinism, existence of will, consciousness, feelings (philosophical and psychological aspects); 2) presence of rights and freedoms, social function of legal entity (legal aspect); 3) socialization of human life, legal causality of an individual and personal endurance (socio-cultural aspect).

There are two main levels that form the notion of individual: primary conceptualization which results in special notation with semantics of person (e.g. “person”, “individual”, “legal entity”, “legislator”) and secondary conceptualization which is the reinterpretation of terms and person definitions.

>Personalization is using names of persons to define inanimate objects or abstract notions. Depersonalization is the opposite – defining a person using words with impersonal semantics, which normally do not describe a human being. Deindividualization is defining a person without taking into consideration his or her sex. 

Personalization is analyzed based on the notion of ‘legal entity’. It is determined that even during primary conceptualization it is possible to distinguish the signs of animating for the person definition, e.g. when this notion is combined with anthropocentric verbs. Secondary conceptualization is the language game based on straight and implicit reification (I have come to you as a legal entity to a legal entity) and the notion involving into the reflection over interrelation of “legal entity” with specific individuals, their rights and freedoms (After the defendant was disclosed to have no name, the court could not consider him a legal entity any longer and the most correct behavior from the judges was to show surprise, where is the defendant and what are they sitting for?).

Depersonalization and deindividualization are briefly discussed through the examples of the following naming units: “court”, “legislator”, – and other words correlating on gender feature: suitor – suitress.

The research concludes that personalization counterworks the impersonality, common for legal discourse. Personalization is performed by reinterpretation of anthropocentric naming, including “individual”, “identity”.

How to link insert

Avdevnina, O. . & Devyatkina, V. . (2019). PЕRSONALIZATION AND DEPERSONALIZATION IN LEGAL DISCOURSE Bulletin of the Moscow City Pedagogical University. Series "Pedagogy and Psychology", # 13. 2019, 228-244. https://doi.org/10.25688/2619-0656.2019.13.14
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