Maritime Cooperative Working Agreements Variability as a Proxy for Legal Atomization

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Published Nov 4, 2022
Mary C. Lavissière Laurent Fedi


Textual standardization is the expected route for documents in specific disciplinary fields, particularly for legal documents (Gotti 2012). Yet organizations in these fields need common conventions that allow for innovation and flexibility as they face complex professional contexts (Bhatia 2012). Our qualitative data concerning the maritime shipping industry’s use of the legal instruments known as “Cooperative Working Agreements” give evidence that variability allows communities to attain latent professional goals. Genre in language for special purposes, even in legal language, should be seen a double-edged sword, allowing professional communities to legitimately accomplish goals through both standardization and variability.

How to Cite

Lavissière, Mary C., and Laurent Fedi. 2022. “Maritime Cooperative Working Agreements: Variability As a Proxy for Legal Atomization”. Fachsprache 44 (3-4):130-47.
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Article Details


contracts, discourse analysis, English for Specific Purposes, genre analysis, legal English