Information flow of legislative sentences from the viewpoint of a cognitive 2-move structure



Year of publication 2015
Type Appeared in Conference without Proceedings
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Description The communicative purpose of the language of law is clarity, unambiguity and precise interpretation. To include all eventualities in one sentence and keep the text condensed at the same time results in complex, unusual and sometimes obscure sentence structures, having not infrequently the opposite effect. Following up a four move-structure applied by Swales (1981) to various scientific articles, Bhatia's analyses of parliamentary provisions have revealed that legislative sentences can be formed into a 2-move structure. "The cognitive structuring displays a characteristic interplay of the main provisionary clause and the qualifications inserted at various syntactic openings within the structure of a sentence." (Bhatia, 1982) Effort to make legislative sentences precise poses a requirement for such qualifications to be inserted next to the word they are intended to qualify, which inevitably leads to syntactic discontinuities and the interruption of the flow of information. The aim of this paper is to use this method in analysing other legal sub-genres that provide their authors with more stylistic freedom and to interpret regularities and ways the members of this professional community use for structuring their thoughts when organizing their texts. The use of selected parallel English and Czech legal texts with the application of Bhatia's (1993) interactive move-structure approach aims to focus on to what extent cognitive process and "thematic reasons" (Hiltunen, 1991) are reflected in the sentence structures of authentic legislative sentences.
Related projects:

You are running an old browser version. We recommend updating your browser to its latest version.