Article published in:The pragmatics of professional discourse
Edited by Winnie Cheng
[Pragmatics and Society 7:1] 2016
► pp. 57–81
The future in reports
Prediction, commitment and legitimization in corporate social responsibility (CSR)
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.
Keywords: corpus linguistics, genre analysis, business discourse, futurity, CSR reporting, semantic sequence
Published online: 07 April 2016
Cited by 8 other publications
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