Analysis of authentic legal negotiation

implications for teaching contract negotiation to undergraduate law students

Anthony Townley, Mehdi Riazi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle


This paper reports a research study that analysed legal negotiation discourse in response to perceived deficiencies in using textbooks for teaching legal English writing to undergraduate law students in Turkey. Micro and macro text analysis were performed on the data sets and lawyers from the participating law firms were interviewed to discuss discursive features identified in the textual analysis. The duality of this analytical approach proves valuable in providing both description of the lexico-grammatical features and rhetorical structures of the negotiation discourse process and an understanding of the professional practices that influence and shape the negotiations. Analytical findings from this research study represent a comprehensive (intertextually and interdiscursively oriented) ontology of legal negotiation discourse, which makes a meaningful contribution to English for Legal Purposes (ELP) pedagogy. They can also be used for the development of teaching materials that better prepare undergraduate law students for the discursive realities and complexities of negotiating commercial contracts in English.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)49-76
Number of pages28
JournalInternational journal of language studies
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 2014


  • English for Legal Purposes (ELP)
  • Contract Negotiation
  • Legal Discourse Analysis
  • Genre Analysis
  • Intertextuality
  • Interdiscursivity

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