Lithuanian Legal Terms Containing the Element of the Suffix ʽ-inisʼ, ʽ-ėʼ: their Formation and Usage

Laima Pečkuvienė


Legal language is a part of general language and, for this reason, it mus follow the standards of general language. In spoken language, ther are some deviations from the language standards, however, they are considered more leniently than mistakes in formal written language. Use of the written language is strictly regulated.
Legal language is used to describe Codes, laws, legal rulings, decisions and similar documents. Consequently, all the terms, grammar structures and prepositions must conform to the standards of general language. A particular attention should be paid to the legal terms which are essential in the legal language. Lithuanian legal terms must be based on word structuring rules in Lithuanian language.
This article focuses on complex terminology used in the Codes and Laws of the Republic of Lithuania, which is made be a means of suffixes ‘-inis’, ‘-ė’.These suffixes are used to make terms from Nouns (e.g. turtinė žala), Adjectives (ūminis susirgimas), Numerals (antrinis įpėdinis), Passive Voice Past Participles (rašytinis sutikimas), Prepositional structures (ikiteisminė įvaikinimo procedūra). In general language it is unusual to construct such structures from the nouns of verbal origin. Noun derivatives are the most problematic. First of all, it concerns the suffixes of verbal origin ‘-imas’ (‘-ymas’), which become the basic words in such cases (e.g. įstatymas, draudimas).
Some suffix derivatives ‘-inis’,‘-ė’ are constructed from loan words with particles ‘-al-’, ‘-ar-’,‘-at-’,‘-et-’,‘-yv-’, ‘-or-’. In general language it is common not to use the adjectives with the above mentioned particles before – ‘-inisʼ, ‘ėʼ Similarly, in legal language they should be avoided if it is not possible to make the endings from the appropriate nouns.
Some inappropriate terms have been rejected because of both the correct and the incorrect terms have been used in conjunction, which is not acceptable. Each concept must be defined by a single term. It would help to avoid creating the misleading terminology in the Lithuanian legal language.


complex legal terms; ssuffix derivatives; basic vocabulary; type of word formation

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"Societal studies" ISSN online 2029-2244 / ISSN print 2029-2236