Volume 10, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1566-5852
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9854
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This paper examines the linguistic resources adopted by pamphlet writers to express their stance and engage their readers during the so-called Irish paper war that preceded the 1800 Union between Great Britain and Ireland. The data (about 100,000 words) consists of 23 pamphlets divided, according to their position in the debate, into two sub-corpora of approximately the same number of words. My purpose in this paper is to investigate the communicative and rhetorical functionality of the linguistic features writers use to express their stance towards the union, with a view to determining how writers establish themselves as morally and intellectually authoritative in their texts. The analysis brings out the crucial role lexico-grammatical patterns play, but also demonstrates the need for a broader interactive perspective, in order to fully account for the dynamics of persuasive discourse.


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