Abstract
Every legal system needs to update its rules from time to time. Since legal rules are laid down in language, legal innovation requires linguistic innovation as well. This essay analyses how Hungary modernised its private law in pre-socialist, socialist and, most important, post-socialist times. The focus of the analysis is the interaction between the modernisation of the substance-matter and the modernisation of legal language. During the codification of the 2009 and 2013 Civil Codes, the legislator sometimes reverted to pre-socialist Hungarian sources, sometimes reacted to requirements of European Union and international law, and sometimes autonomously created new legal instruments and/or new legal terminology. In order to do so, the codification commissions sometimes received a foreign regulation pattern and created a Hungarian term for it, sometimes they developed the regulation themselves and adopted a foreign term for it, and sometimes the reception of foreign role models ran parallel in substance-matter and terminology. The analysis of the Hungarian post-socialist modernisation of civil law and its linguistic basis shows that terminological and material receptions are not necessarily interdependent but can, and did, happen independently of each other.
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DOI 10.1007/s11196-020-09724-7
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