Volume 14, Issue 5
  • ISSN 1569-2159
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9862
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This paper outlines an approach to the analysis of topoi that rests on a notion of topos as a synonym for “argumentation pattern”. The approach is embedded within the overall theoretical and methodical considerations of the discourse linguistic “school” called “linguistic discourse history” or “historic discourse semantics”. After explaining the background of topos analysis, several examples from migration-related public discourse will be used to illustrate the scope and limits of the approach proposed in the paper. A special focus will be given to two partial results of a study of the public discourse on work-related migration between 1960 and 1985 (cf. Wengeler 2003), supplemented by the treatment of the same topic around the year 2000. Within our analysis of the discourse on migration, manifold argumentation patterns will be highlighted in the different periods pointing to the heterogeneity of common sense functionalised for argumentative purposes.


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