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Argumentation pragmatics, text analysis, and contrastive rhetoric

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Title: Argumentation pragmatics, text analysis, and contrastive rhetoric
Author(s): Kenkel, James Michael
Doctoral Committee Chair(s): Kachru, Yamuna
Department / Program: Linguistics
Discipline: Linguistics
Degree Granting Institution: University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Degree: Ph.D.
Genre: Dissertation
Subject(s): Education, Bilingual and Multicultural Language, Linguistics Speech Communication
Abstract: The contrastive rhetoric hypothesis (Kaplan, 1966) predicts that language users across cultures will vary in the means they use to construct coherent discourse. The problem for contrastive rhetoric research is to develop a method for reliably describing this variation. To this end, a number of methods of text analysis have been proposed that claim to describe the linguistic and discoursal features crucial to coherent interpretations of text. In this dissertation, I review these methods and then present an alternative adapted from argumentation pragmatics (Ducrot et al., 1980) and the model of discourse structure proposed by Roulet et al. (1985). Ducrot's theory rests on the observation that utterances in sequence are describable as having one of two functions--that of being an argument for some conclusion or a conclusion from some argument(s). Roulet proposes a hierarchical model of discourse having three constituent types: acts, moves, and exchanges. To test the contrastive rhetoric hypothesis, using this method of analysis, I analyzed twenty lead editorials each from the The Times of India, The Singapore Straits Times, and The New York Times. These texts represent three distinct varieties of English from three different cultural settings (Kachru, 1986) and as such allow for testing the contrastive rhetoric hypothesis. The results of these analyses do not support the hypothesis that language users across cultures vary in the means they use to construct coherent discourse.
Issue Date: 1991
Type: Text
Language: English
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/2142/19422
Rights Information: Copyright 1991 Kenkel, James Michael
Date Available in IDEALS: 2011-05-07
Identifier in Online Catalog: AAI9210859
OCLC Identifier: (UMI)AAI9210859
 

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