How did you change my view? A corpus-based study of concessions’ argumentative role

Discourse Studies 20 (2):270-288 (2018)
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In everyday communicative arenas, we engage in critical discussions to persuade others to change their views about issues of personal as well as public interest. Discourse analysts have deemed concessions as privileged strategies to manage disagreement and reach consensus. However, a coherent and comprehensive account of the argumentative functions played by different concessive relations is lacking: do concessions always bear an argumentative role? By which semantic and pragmatic properties? What type of argumentative moves do they instantiate? To answer these questions, we propose a corpus-based study of lexical markers of concessions in the subreddit Changemyview. Drawing from a multilevel semantic and pragmatic annotation, polysemous markers with contrast are disambiguated, and an empirically motivated typology of concessive relations is proposed. The results of the analysis highlight two types of concessions that are specialized in introducing and/or preventing counterarguments.



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On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1973 - Proceedings and Addresses of the American Philosophical Association 47:5-20.
On the Very Idea of a Conceptual Scheme.Donald Davidson - 1974 - In Robert B. Talisse & Scott F. Aikin (eds.), The Pragmatism Reader: From Peirce Through the Present. Princeton University Press. pp. 286-298.
The New Rhetoric.Charles Perelman & L. Olbrechts-Tyteca - 1957 - Philosophy Today 1 (1):4-10.

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