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Ibérica  2009 

Legal genres in English and Spanish: some attempts of analysis

Keywords: legal genre , legal communication , legal text , generic analysis

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Abstract:

Understanding the differences and subtleties between the legal communication of the English-speaking world, and the Continental law countries –and, more specifically, Spain- has become a necessary practice in the global context. For the most part, it involves unravelling the differences and concomitances between the array of legal genres produced by the professionals of the specialist communities within these two traditions (i.e., Common Law and Continental Law). This paper attempts an analysis in layers –generic or pragmatic, textual or cognitive, and formal or superficial– of two types of genre within the domain of public and private law, namely delegated legislation and tenancy agreements or leases, the study of which has been seldom attempted, despite the customary presence of these instruments in the legal routine. The result of such analysis will, hopefully, cast some light on the way these communities interact within themselves and with the rest of the world, providing new clues to tackle the application of those genres and making it possible to draw new conclusions about the way in which linguistic interaction takes place in the context of these specialist communities in English and Spanish.

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