A Contrastive Analysis of Textual Metafunction between English Legal Texts and Their Persian Translations

Gholam Reza Parvizi, Ali Reza Kargar


The main focus of this study is to probe the thematic structure of legal texts cross-linguistically in English with their Persian translations. In this respect, the researcher adopted Halliday’s systemic functional grammar (1985) as a yardstick for the analysis. The corpus of the study was International Law Documents (2011) and their Persian translations. In order to answer the three posed questions, the researcher chose seventy legal articles and went on an in-depth analysis of the source and target textual elements. Since the outcome of the research rests on the preliminary examination, an authorized translator stepped in to review the whole task. The findings indicated that thematic structures in almost half of the clauses were preserved, while about 37.23% of them exhibit none-correspondence in their thematic structure. The label of absorption was used to show embedded clauses in which the change of T/R organization was in the adjacent clauses not within the clause. In the clauses with none-correspondent thematic structure, the most and least amount of substituted elements were subordinate/ relative clauses and indefinite pronoun respectively. More than half of the English marked themes were translated into marked ones. It implies that the translator tried to keep the original style of the legal text.


textual metafunction, thematic structure, marked structure, contrastive analysis

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