Representation of Argumentation in Text with Rhetorical Structure Theory

Argumentation 24 (2):181-196 (2010)
Various argumentation analysis tools permit the analyst to represent functional components of an argument (e.g., data, claim, warrant, backing), how arguments are composed of subarguments and defenses against potential counterarguments, and argumentation schemes. In order to facilitate a study of argument presentation in a biomedical corpus, we have developed a hybrid scheme that enables an analyst to encode argumentation analysis within the framework of Rhetorical Structure Theory (RST), which can be used to represent the discourse structure of a text. This paper describes the hybrid representation scheme and illustrates its use for investigation of contexts that license omission of elements of an argument. The analyses given in the paper involve reconstruction of enthymemes. Defeasible argumentation schemes serve as a constraint on reconstruction. In addition, the examples illustrate several other types of contextual constraints on reconstruction of enthymemes.
Keywords Rhetorical structure theory  Presumptive argumentation schemes  Dialectical argumentation  Enthymeme reconstruction  Computational argumentation system
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DOI 10.1007/s10503-009-9169-4
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Stephen E. Toulmin (2003). The Uses of Argument. Monograph Collection (Matt - Pseudo).

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