Witness Statement – an Old Official Genre as the Evidence of the Legal Order Cover Image

Akt znania – dawny gatunek urzędowy jako świadectwo porządku prawnego
Witness Statement – an Old Official Genre as the Evidence of the Legal Order

Author(s): Renata Bizior
Subject(s): Applied Linguistics
Published by: Towarzystwo Naukowe KUL & Katolicki Uniwersytet Lubelski Jana Pawła II
Keywords: civil status;act of knowing;birth certificate;text genre;official style;text pattern;text substitution;French influence;19th century;

Summary/Abstract: The Witness Statement as a genre of official style of a documentary nature has been considered in the article to be old, because its formation was not a long process, lasting in the Polish language from the early 19th century, when it was introduced with the legal regulations of the Napoleonic Code, until 1945. This is one of personal status certificates that was drawn up in connection with the modern process of marriage formalization, constituting evidence of the old legal and social order and the impact of French culture. Formally, it served as a birth certificate and for this reason was subject to the rules of textual substitution of a pragmatic function, while references to the prototext became an essential textual component of the analyzed statements.The textual pattern of the nineteenth-century Witness Statement, presented in the article, formed not only on the basis of the intertextual relationship with the birth certificate, but also as a result of the influence of the architecture of old official documents, formed through the centuries. It adapted also genre-specific structural segments, the most important of which was the statement of the witnesses. Due to the circumstances of the formation and functioning of the genre, textual embodiments were characterized by some freedom relative to the textual pattern reconstructed in the study, nevertheless text standardization progressed with time.

  • Issue Year: 63/2015
  • Issue No: 06
  • Page Range: 133-150
  • Page Count: 18
  • Language: Polish