Personal pronouns in argumentation

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This article examines the use of personal pronouns in argumentation in two medical texts about the health effects of tobacco. The pamphlets were written in 1601 and 1602; the latter was written as a reply to the first. My method is qualitative, combining elements from different theories and it is unlike to any previous work done in the field. The analysis of personal pronouns draws mostly on Katie Wales's theory of present-day personal pronouns (1996). Central concepts of the theory are endophora and exophora and egocentric and vocative tendencies of generalised references. The present study also considers the affective (emotive) quality of personal pronouns. The analysis shows considerable variation between the texts in the use of personal pronouns and argumentative strategies.


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