Textual Features and Translation Issues
Edited By Davide Simone Giannoni and Celina Frade
Textual Features 17
Textual Features ESTRELLA MONTOLÍO DURÁN Discourse, Grammar and Professional Discourse Analysis: The Function of Conditional Structures in Legal Writing 1. Introduction The aim of this chapter1 is to describe and account for the functional importance of a specific linguistic structure within Spanish legal documents [if p, then q]. This is an essential feature of legal and legislative texts, as other specialists have already pointed out,2 especially for English legal discourse. I shall try to demonstrate here that the relevance of this construction can be seen in present-day legal documents as well as in the earliest known legal records. For this purpose I will analyse the discourse-textual functions of the frame [if p, q] and those of the construction [q if p], while the last section extends the analysis to other varieties of conditional constructions, in particular those introduced by particles which in previous studies (Montolío 1991, 1999, 2000a) I refer to as complex conditional connectors: siempre que [provided that], salvo que [unless] and a no ser que [unless]. I shall also note the significant presence in texts drawn from the legal world of constructions such as en caso de (que) [in case of], as well as elliptical conditionals such as de (no) ser así 1 This work belongs to the project Linguistic and Pragmatic Analysis of Expert Recommendation in Professional Documents (Reference: FFI2008-00823), financed by the Spanish Ministry of Science and Innovation. I am greatly indebted to my erudite colleague Dr Joaquín Sanmartín, Professor...
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