Linguistic Functional Feature Analysis of English Legal Memorandum

Pengsun JIN, Yushan ZHAO


The aim of the paper is to investigate the genetic structure and functional features of the English legal memorandum.To satisfy this aim, the author collects some authentic English legal memorandums and adopts the approaches based on Swales and Hasan to explore the structure levels of the texts. The research also draws on the three metafunctions of Holliday’s systemic functional linguistics to find out some linguistic strategies. Linguistic functional features are found in an amount from the systemic functional perspective, which reveals that memorandum inclines to employ material and relational process; prefer declarative mood, fractional imperative mood, and hardly any exclamation mood; in favor of unmarked with simple nominal groups; clausal theme and theme of nominal group complex followed by long and complicated sentence. The findings are mainly devoted to the guidelines for legal memo writing.


Analysis; Functional features; English legal memorandum

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