A syntactic perspective on rhetorical purpose


medical editorials
rhetorical purpose
syntactic variants
editoriales médicos
estrategias de persuasión
frases condicionales de tipo �if �
variantes sintácticas
géneros discursivos

How to Cite

Carter-Thomas, S., & Rowley-Jolivet, E. (2014). A syntactic perspective on rhetorical purpose: The example of if-conditionals in medical editorials . Ibérica, (28), 59–82. Retrieved from https://www.revistaiberica.org/index.php/iberica/article/view/239


This paper provides an in-depth analysis of the functioning of if-conditionals in medical editorials (MEDs). As previous genre-based studies of medical discourse genres have shown, MEDs need to address at least three different types of readers and are thus a research-oriented, socio-political and praxisoriented genre. Medical editorialists therefore need to customize their argumentative strategies in order to reach and convince these distinct readerships. Our aim is to adopt a syntactic perspective on rhetorical purpose, by focusing on a syntactic pattern which has a potentially important role to play in the construction of argument: the if-conditional. By examining the syntactic variants of the structure in MEDs we demonstrate the correspondence between seemingly minor constructional variants and the rhetorical aims of the genre in question. A comparison between the research article and MED usages moreover helps us to identify the form-function pairings specific to the editorials and in this way pinpoint how the if-conditional forms are used to serve the specific argument strategies of the MED genre

Copyright (c) 2014 Sh. Carter-Thomas, Elizabeth Rowley-Jolivet

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License.


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