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Interpersonality in Legal Genres

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Edited By Ruth Breeze, Maurizio Gotti and Carmen Sancho Guinda

Few concepts in Discourse Studies are so versatile and intricate and have been so frequently contested as interpersonality. This construct offers ample terrain for new research, since it can be viewed using a range of diverse theoretical frameworks, employing a variety of analytical tools and social perspectives.
Studies on the relationship between writer/reader and speaker/audience in the legal field are still scarce, dispersed, and limited to a narrow range of genres and a restricted notion of interpersonality, since they are most often confined to modality and the Gricean cooperative principles.
This volume is meant to help bridge this gap. Its chapters show the realisation and distribution of interpersonal features in specific legal genres. The aim is to achieve an expansion of the concept of interpersonality, which besides modality, Grice’s maxims and other traditionally interpersonal features, might comprise or relate to ideational and textual issues like narrative disclosure, typography, rhetorical variation, or Plain English, among others.
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Exploring the Interplay Between Discursive and Professional Practices in Domain Name Arbitration Awards

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1. Introduction

The interpersonal dimension in professional communication has been approached from different analytical perspectives, such as stance (Biber/Finegan 1989; Conrad/Biber 2000; Biber 2006), evaluation (Hunston 2000; Hunston/Thompson 2000a, 2000b), appraisal (Martin/ White 2005), metadiscourse (Hyland 1996, 1998; Ädel 2006; Hyland/ Sancho Guinda 2012) or voice (Matsuda/Tardy 2007) among others. It is now widely accepted that specialized discourse is conditioned by the writer-reader relationship. This relationship can be adequately explored by the umbrella concept of ‘interpersonality’, which we understand as the complex interplay of writers and readers as projected in the text, as well as how this projection is influenced by and influences the writers’ position in relation to their own and others’ texts. Interpersonality is here understood as a generative metaphor, a view of professional writing as writer-reader and writer-text interaction. This metaphor, together with the Bakhtinian notions of dialogism and heteroglossic diversity, can help to facilitate a critical discussion of the way in which arbitrators get engaged in a dialogue ← 235 | 236 → with the parties going for arbitration and with a wider professional community of practice.

Arbitration is increasingly considered as an efficient, economical and effective alternative to litigation in order to solve legal conflicts. Litigation can be defined as a civil action brought before a court, where the party initiating the action seeks a legal or equitable remedy. Arbitration, on the other hand, is included in the group of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) methods of solving disputes, together with conciliation...

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