The Use of the Present tense in legal trilingual discourse

Contrastive approach based on an English, French and Russian corpus of legal documents


  • Anton Osminkin ISIT Paris


Keywords: Legal present, Constative interpretation, Deontic interpretation, Inherent seme, Afferent seme.


The main purpose of this article is to show the two interpretations of the present tense in a legal context in English, French, and Russian. These are the constative and deontic senses. Secondly, this paper analyses, from a contrastive perspective, the linguistic properties of the three forms used in the three languages, in order to express the constative and deontic senses of the present tense in legal discourse. These are Present Simple in English, the Indicative form of the present in French, and the imperfective Present tense in Russian.