Lingua inglese - Appunti
in Italian legal texts. But in my opinion their use
does not generate any particular ambiguity (they
always refer to hypothetical situations); they simply
make the text sound more formal (people tend to
‘drop’ their subjunctives in informal conversation).
And, in common with many other countries, the
directive calls for a reduction in the use of the passive,
even if it is less frequently adopted in Italian
(about 20% of verbal constructions in prescriptive
texts are in the passive) than it is in English (about
Unfortunately, the momentum favouring language
reform came to an abrupt halt not long after the
directive was passed, as can be witnessed by visiting
the website where the information and documentation
have not been updated for three years. When
I emailed the address provided on the website for
those seeking further information or advice, my
email bounced back and I was informed that the
user was unknown. The implicit message was, alas,
molto chiaro! It was only after further investigation
that I was informed that the project had been given a
limited time span, after which it was shut down
altogether and has not since been revived.
The hiatus in the activities of the Progetto Chiaro!
reveals one of the inherent weaknesses in a movement
that springs from within the state itself rather
than from the grassroots, namely that much depends
on the interests and priorities of individual ministers.
This is not to say that the average citizen in Italy
does not moan about the incomprehensibility of official
documents, but there is simply not much of a
tradition in Italy as there is in, say, the UK, in forming
pressure groups to do something about it. It is often
the case in Italy that reforms take place as a result of
adopting models from abroad rather than as a result
of pressure from within.
There are several possible reasons why legal language
tends not to be the main focus of criticism in
Italy as it is in most English-speaking countries.
First of all, the type of language in which laws are
drafted in Italy is not perceived as being as archaic
or idiosyncratic as it is in English-speaking countries.
There are few equivalents to the hereinafters
and aforetosaids that sound like something from the
Elizabethan age. Laws drafted in Italian may not
always be easy to follow, but they do not sound
particularly antiquated. Secondly, like most other
countries in continental Europe, by far the most
commonly-used tense used in prescriptive texts in
Italian is the present indicative, constituting twothirds
of all finite verbal constructions. So there is
no ambiguity as there is often claimed to be in English
between shall and the present tense: in the vast
majority of cases shall would be rendered as the
present simple in Italian. Può and possono (respectively,
third person singular and plural of the modal
verb potere = to be able to) are the equivalent of may,
+1 anno fa
I contenuti di questa pagina costituiscono rielaborazioni personali del Publisher Chiakka87 di informazioni apprese con la frequenza delle lezioni di Inglese e studio autonomo di eventuali libri di riferimento in preparazione dell'esame finale o della tesi. Non devono intendersi come materiale ufficiale dell'università Bari - Uniba o del prof Williams Christopher.
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