Pragmatics and Rhetoric for Discourse Analysis: Some
Jesus M. Larrazabal and Kepa Korta*
Institute for Logic, Cognition, Language and Information (ILCLI) The University of the Basque Country
Avda. Jose Elosegi 275
20015 Donostia – San Sebastián
Longas são as estradas da
Galileia e curta a piedade dos
(Eça de Queiróz, O suave
This paper focuses on discourse analysis, particularly persuasive discourse, using pragmatics and rhetoric in a new combined way, called by us Pragma-Rhetoric. It can be said that this is a cognitive approach to both pragmatics and rhetoric. Pragmatics is essentially Gricean, Rhetoric comes from a new reading of Aristotle’s Rhetoric, extending his notion of discourse to meso- and micro-discourses. Two kinds of intentions have to be considered: first, communicative intention, and, then, persuasive intention. The fulfilment of those intentions is achieved by a successful persuasivecommunicative action. The psychological, philosophical and logical aspects derived from the pragma-rhetorical perspective are crucial in view of its applications in several practical domains.
Keywords: Discourse, pragmatics, rhetoric, communication, intention, persuasion. 0. Introduction
Let us begin this paper with our recognition to a philosopher of action, language and communication, Marcelo Dascal, a Leibnizian particularly interested in semantics and pragmatics, who has contributed so much to the development of philosophy in the last 30 years. The aim of this paper is to propose a pragmatic and rhetorical view in discourse analysis, combining both disciplines in order to explain the intentional *
This work has been partially supported by a research project of the Spanish Ministry of Science and Technology (PB98-0250) and another one of the University of the Basque Country (UE01/A10).
phenomena that occur in most communicative uses of language, namely, the communicative intention and the intention of persuading. The combination of pragmatics and rhetoric has been suggested by some scholars, including Dascal himself (Dascal and Gross 1999), but it is quite difficult to “marry” such an ancient discipline as rhetoric with such a new discipline as pragmatics, if we do not put both in the same “register level”, i.e. in the level of intentionality. This clearly implies a theoretical choice in the field of pragmatics as far as pragmatics is not conceived in a merely semiotic way (not to say, in an impossible “semiologic” way), but in an intentional way following the path open by Austin and, particularly, by Grice. This also implies a new view on the ancient rhetoric, a choice in favour of a neo-Aristotelian rhetoric, where, in the well-known triangle ethos-logos-pathos, the elaboration and realisation of discourse is especially analysed in terms of what is inside the taxis (dispositio), that is to say, the order of discourse, and not so much in terms of what is inside the elocution. In fact, this is a choice in favour of a rhetoric linked to dialectics (remember the very beginning of book I of Aristotle’s Rhetoric) and not so linked to poetics (or the current literature theory), introducing the idea of the intention of persuading by the discourse maker. The first section of the paper consists in a few remarks about the different approaches taken in discourse analysis in general, from sociology to ethnomethodological conversation analysis, in order to situate our own double perspective combining pragmatics and rhetoric. The second section is devoted to the way of understanding communicative intention in Gricean pragmatics. The third one focuses on our view of a neo-Aristotelian rhetoric that can be merged with pragmatics in a theory called pragma-rhetoric, which is the topic of the fourth section. We end with a few concluding remarks.
1. Forms of discourse analysis
Sure, the most important conceptual problem of discourse...
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