Vol. IX Nr. 2
Frans H. van Eemeren
Reasonableness in situated discourse: Fallacies as derailments of strategic manoeuvring
Abstract: In the pragma-dialectical approach fallacies are defined as violations of rules for critical discussion which manifest themselves in derailments of strategic manoeuvring. These may easily escape attention because they can be very similar to sound instances of strategic manoeuvring. Strategic manoeuvring only derails into fallaciousness if it goes against the norms for having a reasonable exchange embodied in the rules for critical discussion. This means in practice that the argumentative moves that were made are not in agreement with the relevant criteria for complying with a particular norm. These criteria vary to some extent according to the argumentative context and, in so far as this is the case, they are determined by the soundness conditions the argumentative moves have to fulfill to remain within the bounds of dialectical reasonableness in the activity type concerned. Fallacy judgments are in the end contextual judgments that depend on the specific circumstances of situated argumentative acting. The criteria for determining whether or not a certain norm for critical discussion has been violated may depend on the institutional conventions of the argumentative activity type concerned. This does not mean that there are no clear criteria for determining whether the strategic manoeuvring has gone astray, but only that the specific shape these criteria take may vary from the one argumentative activity to the other.
Keywords: fallacies, strategic manoeuvring, institutional conventions, argumentative move
Manoeuvring strategically in responding to accusations of inconsistency in political interviews
Abstract: This paper examines the consecutive perlocutionary consequences of the illocutionary act of accusation of inconsistency and illustrates how these consequences can be strategically performed in the context of political interviews in what can be reconstructed as the confrontation stage of a critical discussion. This examination is pursued in the framework of the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentative discourse that accounts for the attempts arguers make to resolve a difference of opinion in accordance with the standards for a critical discussion and at the same time to their benefit by employing what has been termed strategic manoeuvring (van Eemeren and Houtlosser 2002).
Keywords: consecutive perlocutionary consequences, accusation of inconsistency, strategic manoeuvring
Legitimation and argumentative strategic maneuvering in the political field: Traian Băsescu’s ‘suspension speech’
Abstract: In this paper I am trying to bring together a pragma-dialectical conception of argumentation, a sociological conception of legitimacy, as well as a sociological theory of the political field. I will draw on the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation developed by van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992, 2004) and particularly on the concept of strategic maneuvering (van Eemeren and Houtlosser 2002, 2003, 2005), as well as on approaches to legitimacy by philosophers and sociologists (Habermas 1976, 1984, Beetham 1991). In particular, I will draw on the theorization of the political field developed by Bourdieu (1991) and try to consider what new insights might be brought to the analysis of strategic maneuvering by taking account of sociological analyses of the political field. The text I am analyzing is a political speech made by the President of Romania after his suspension by Parliament in April 2007.
Keywords: a pragma-dialectical conception of argumentation, legitimacy, strategic maneuvering
Fallacies in ethical argumentation on abortion
Abstract: This paper represents a case study of the types of fallacies that may occur in the argumentation stage of an ethical dispute over abortion. The theoretical framework I use is the pragma-dialectical theory of argumentation (van Eemeren and Grootendorst 1992, 2004) which conceives of fallacies as violations of the rules for critical discussion. I will focus on the fallacies resulting from the violation of the relevance rule in two fragments of argumentative texts illustrating opposing positions on abortion. I claim that these fallacies function as winning strategies in the ethical dispute in case.
Keywords: fallacies, argumentation stage, ethical dispute, abortion
The organization and logic of doctrinary discourse
Abstract: The purpose of this paper is to point out the main characteristics of doctrinary discourse in terms of structure and organization, as well as the type of argumentation used (conventions, subject matter, persuasive techniques), emphasizing the similarities with scientific discourse. Doctrinary discourse offers an abstract and partial view of divinity, as conceived by a particular religious group. It is a referential discourse, its statements constantly targeting the divine nature of God and His manifestations. The proof takes the form of Biblical evidence, which has the role of axioms in mathematics: truth taken as granted and used as such.
Keywords: doctrinary discourse, argumentation, scientific discourse, Biblical evidence
Language as a means of gender identity construction
Abstract: This paper examines gender ideologies in English and Romanian societies and argues that these ideologies which assign men and women different social roles become manifest in language at the level of conversational strategies through the process of socialization. The narratives analyzed demonstrate that identity is far from being categorical or fix, but is context-dependent. In some contexts our female informants may choose to conform to the traditional feminine identity imposed by the patriarchal society, whereas in others they may choose to display more liberal identities that deviate from those norms.
Keywords: gender ideologies, English society, Romanian society, narratives
Jokes and the instantiation of conflicting scripts
Abstract: The present paper is an attempt to highlight that while joke reception entails the successive activation of two scripts which do not normally co-occur, the second script, triggered by the punchline is not opposed to the first, but suspends and challenges expectations created by the first script. This claim will be illustrated by discussing several jocular conversations from sitcoms.
Keywords: joke reception, scripts, jocular conversations, sitcoms
“Ye Quaint Little Islanders”: Language behaviour of the British stereotype in G.B. Shaw’s Caesar and Cleopatra
Abstract: This paper is a part of a larger project on the language behaviour of different ethnic groups in Shaw’s plays. It focuses on the British ethnic stereotype as it emerges from the playwright’s ideology of the end of the 19th century, and tries to answer the question: which are those social variables that shape the identity of the characters, and which relate to their social and language behaviour. It focuses on two characters, Britannus and a “hidden one”, who can also be considered to be the representatives of the English stereotype. The paper investigates the characters’ linguistic manifestations as reflections of their ethnic identity, revealing those special discourse strategies which exhibit another ethos of communication, differentiating them from other characters in the play.
Keywords: language behavior, ethnic groups, ethnic identity, discourse strategies
Adina Oana Nicolae
Recipe for success: cooking and food in business metaphors
Abstract: The article sets out to disclose the range of applications and implications of the business media metaphors that draw on the more familiar cognitive domain related to food and cooking. The conclusions rely on a corpus-based approach, while the theoretical framework is provided by cognitive semantics.
Keywords: business media metaphors, food, cooking
Translator’s choices in Saul Bellow’s The Adventures of Augie March
Abstract: The present paper attempts to offer an analysis of the main difficulties imposed by the translation of a text such as The Adventures of Augie March. The main problem traced by the translator in this case concerns the choice of the most adequate range of Romanian tenses that would faithfully render the ‘biographical’ flavour of the original text. We will try to provide arguments that support the selection of tenses which we have opted for in translating Saul Bellow’s novel.
Keywords: translation, tenses, faithfulness
Fidelity, Alterity and Shifting Borders in Translation
Abstract: The translator as communicator across linguistic and cultural boundaries should be aware of the cultural power differentials and develop a set of feasible strategies in dealing with such a text type. The text type can be seen as carrying over the text producer’s beliefs and his/her own identity, which is shaped by the higher pre-potent one: the global social and cultural identity of the speech community to which s/he belongs. Things become more complex with the translated text since there is multiplicity of identities: those belonging to the source language culture and those characterising the target language culture.
Keywords: translation, cultural power differentials, identities
Parallel corpora as texts in a TSP context. An argumentative approach
Abstract: The present paper aims at proposing several ways of selecting and typologising specialized texts according to different criteria, such as thematic content, genre criteria, or structural discursive differences. This approach follows the current views on discourse structure and the theory of parallel corpora. The texts that make up a corpus of targeted discourse pieces share several properties but they also serve a different purpose, which is the author’s communicative intention to make the information or comments structured in the text relevant in some specific way to readership. It is precisely this relevant markedness of such texts that constitutes the core of the present paper.
Keywords: typology of specialized texts, thematic content, genre criteria, structural discursive differences
The translator as an agent of power
Abstract: The paper analyses the presence of the translator’s voice, the interference between the translator and the text (s)he translates. The paper explores the possibility the translator has to include or exclude the reader in the translated text.
Keywords: translator’s voice, reader, power
The visibility/invisibility of translation
Abstract: The present paper examines the concept of ‘visibility/invisibility’ of the translator as proposed by Venutti (1995), while concentrating on the cultural differences, on the interface between the source culture and the target one as applied to a text selected from The Economist.
Keywords: translator’s visibility, translator’s invisibility, cultural differences