Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2211-4742
  • E-ISSN: 2211-4750
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In this theoretical expose, it is argued that the notion of argumentative style is more encompassing and at the same time more specific than the more familiar notion of linguistic style. According to van Eemeren, argumentative styles always have three dimensions: the selection of standpoints, starting-points, arguments or other argumentative moves (topical choice dimension), the adjustment of argumentative moves to the frame of reference and preferences of the listeners or readers (audience demand dimension), and the choice of verbal or non-verbal means for advancing argumentative moves (presentational dimension). In argumentative discourse, the three dimensions of argumentative style manifest themselves in the argumentative moves made in trying to resolve a difference of opinion (analytic overview), the dialectical routes chosen in making these argumentative moves (argumentative pattern) and the strategic considerations brought to bear in this endeavour (strategic design). Van Eemeren explains what this means in practice by discussing the distinctive features of the three dimensions of two general categories of argumentative styles that can be regularly encountered, in one variant or other, in argumentative discourse: detached argumentative styles and engaged argumentative styles.


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