The pragmatics of professional discourse
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Company disclosures are often looked at as narrative rather than argumentative or directive texts. And yet “irrealis” statements – references to future or hypothetical processes – do play a role and contribute greatly to the construction of corporate identity. Combining a corpus and a discourse perspective, the paper looks at references to the future in a corpus of CSR (corporate social responsibility) reports. After a preliminary analysis of frequency data, a case study of markers of futurity is presented, focusing on ways of expressing prediction or commitment, together with attitudinal values or evaluations of importance. Keywords and phraseology are studied to highlight how prediction and commitment statements are used to legitimize the company’s (past) conduct.


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