Verb-based Action and Process Nominalisation Patterns in English and Lithuanian EU Legal Documents


  • Milda Žarnauskaitė Kaunas University of Technology, Lithuania



nominalisation patterns, verb-based nominalisation, action and process nominalisation, suffixation, equivalent choice impact, legal documents.


Translators might face difficulties when working on legal texts due to their intricate features, such as nominalisation. The abstract nature of such structures could have a negative effect on text comprehension, as nominalisations are usually harder to process than verbs. In pursuit of making European Union (EU) documents more translator-friendly, the European Commission invites authors to communicate clearly, advising against the use of nominalisations. For this reason, a closer look at the current nominalisation patterns in English and Lithuanian EU legal documents is taken. The aim of the paper is to determine and compare the verb-based action and process nominalisations and their equivalent structures in English and Lithuanian EU legal documents, considering the impact of equivalent choices on the text. The focus is placed on verb-based action and process nominalisations derived by suffixation. Considering English and Lithuanian nominalisations, their equivalent structures are commonly expressed as nominalisations. The expression of nominalisations as nouns, as well as adjective-based nominalisations, is characteristic only to the Lithuanian language. The expression as an adverb, a prepositional structure or a pronoun is characteristic only to the English language. The analysis reveals that the verb-based action and process nominalisations might help follow the flow of information and emphasise key concepts. However, if the morphological properties were changed, repetition could be avoided, the dynamic properties of the text could be strengthened, or comprehension could be facilitated, which is essential for an effective translation process.