Decisions of Russian Constitutional Court: Lexical Complexity Analysis in Shallow Diachrony

Блинова, О. В. (Докладчик), Белов, С. А. (Докладчик), Михаил Аркадиевич Ревазов (Докладчик)

Деятельность: выступлениевыступление с устной презентацией


The paper is aimed at studying the texts of Russian Constitutional Court de-cisions, issued from 1992 to 2018. We analyzed the corpus, consisting of 584 decisions or 3,426,747 tokens (incl. punctuation marks) and tested the hypothesis about increasing lexical complexity of the documents. Using the R package stylo and MFW statistics, we got a picture that reflects the differ-ences of the texts by years. The results of cluster analysis show that the texts of the 90s and 2000s are combined into the first large cluster. The second large cluster includes the texts of the 2010s. Using the R package quanteda, we obtained the values of 11 lexical diversity measures. We chose the index K (Yule’s K) as a basic measure, relatively more reliable and independent of the text length, and then interpreted the values of this measure. In general, the value of K decreases over the years, except for the texts of 2006, in which there is a noticeable increase in the index value, and the texts of 1993, in which the outlier is observed. The calculation hapax proportion shows a picture of a gradual decrease in the share of hapaxes. If we apply the tradi-tional approach to the interpretation of TTR values and derived metrics, we can conclude that, as the lexical diversity decreases and the proportion of hapaxes decreases, the texts become easier to read.


The research was supported by the Russian Science Foundation, project #19-18-00525 “Understanding official Russian: the legal and linguistic issues”.
Период17 июн 202020 июн 2020
Хранится вКафедра общего языкознания имени Л.А. Вербицкой
Степень признанияМеждународная

Ключевые слова

  • Legal Linguistics
  • Decisions of the Russian Constitutional Court
  • Stylometric Analysis
  • Most Frequent Words
  • Lexical Complexity
  • Lexical Diversity
  • TTR
  • Yule’s K
  • R packages
  • stylo
  • quanteda