Argumentation strategies in mediated professional interactions
Starting from the assumption that in professional interactions argumentation is one specific discursive activity through which participants advocate their positions on recommended actions, the paper analyses argumentation strategies in an international company in Romania, where English is used as the language of communication. Considering arguing as basically a form of contextualized speech behaviour, the theoretical frameworks used in this paper are pragma-dialectics and discourse analysis, investigating how speakers fit their contributions to accommodate various purposes and also how they defend their standpoint so that the other party is convinced of its acceptability. The data consist of telephone conferences via internet connections (Virtual Networking Communication sessions) which enable participants to communicate both verbally and via computer-human interface. Given the specific nature of the data, interactions in a technologically shaped context, the paper also addresses the question of enablements and constraints of technology in the way in which participants support or justify their actions.