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Title: Bargaining across boundaries : topic management in negotiation discourse
Author: Julian, Mary Ann
Awarding Body: University of Edinburgh
Current Institution: University of Edinburgh
Date of Award: 1990
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Negotiation interaction is of special interest to an Applied Linguist for four reasons: * the need for applied language research: negotiating - informal or formal - is a common speech event in many domains, and investigation into negotiation discourse has been explicitly urged by researchers in other disciplines, * the usefulness of identifiable goals: negotiators' predetermined goals regarding the items they are bargaining about aid discourse analysis by making it easier to measure how successful the communication has been, * the presence of special language features: the high transactional content and the strategic nature of the negotiation speech event makes its sociopragmatic and pragmalinguistic demands more obvious than those of general conversation, * the relevance to English as an International Language: many English language negotiations take place in international domains. This thesis focuses on the process of topic management in negotiation talk, within the broad framework of Discourse Analysis. Previous negotiation research has largely lacked the insights offered by discourse analysis, and topic management is a particularly effective way of looking at this specialised language use where conflict and cooperation must be served simultaneously. Research background: The first part of the thesis describes a theoretical model developed in other disciplines (notably social psychology) which sees negotiation from an 'information perspective' as an orderly sequence of stages advanced by information management and the structuring of interpersonal relations. The insights of consultant negotiators expressed in popular books on bargaining technique are surveyed, as informal but experienced ethnographic evidence of fundamental notions of well-formed bargaining language. These insights are discussed in terms of linguistic theory about the pragmatics of discourse. Attention is paid to the effect that context has on meaning, and particular reference is made to the ideas of cooperativeness in conversation. Analysis: Methodological problems in previous negotiation language research are outlined, and it is shown that discourse analysis based on tracing topic management is a useful supplement to behavioural analysis, as being less reliant on observer inference and more closely related to the dynamics of negotiation interaction. The potential for topic management analysis is illustrated using data collected from experienced negotiators (native- and foreign-language speakers of English) taking part in negotiation simulations. Applications to training: The thesis ends with recommendations as to what sorts of training - language and socio-pragmatic - would best equip negotiators for bargaining, particularly in international settings. Suggestions are put forward for further Applied Linguistic and interdisciplinary research.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available