Volume 12, Issue 1
  • ISSN 2213-1272
  • E-ISSN: 2213-1280
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The persuasive effectiveness of implicit strategies, associated with reduced epistemic vigilance, may lead to their exploitation in conveying doubtful information in advertisement and propaganda. In political communication, presuppositions tend to specialize for the conveyance of questionable opinions and self-praise, while implicatures reveal a preferential association with face-threatening contents in general, where implicitness can allow speakers to count less evidently as offenders, at the same time being able to convey contents that can discredit the opponent.

In public debates, speakers do not necessarily aim at convincing the opponent, but at shaping the beliefs of the public at home. In Italian broadcast political debates, implicatures and presuppositions are used exactly with this function. Confirming this pattern, participants in public debates often “intercept” the opponent’s implicatures and make them explicit in order to reduce the persuasiveness effected by their being implicit. Sometimes this also offers the opportunity to provide explicitations that are different from the original implicature, caricaturizing the position of the opponent with a strawman effect.


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