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AMoRe - Argumentative Model of Rephrase: Pragmatic and Rhetorical Approach

English title AMoRe - Argumentative Model of Rephrase: Pragmatic and Rhetorical Approach
Applicant Oswald Steve
Number 202273
Funding scheme Project funding
Research institution Département d'Anglais Université de Fribourg
Institution of higher education University of Fribourg - FR
Main discipline Philosophy
Start/End 01.01.2022 - 31.12.2025
Approved amount 680'666.00
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All Disciplines (3)

Discipline
Philosophy
Psychology
Applied linguistics

Keywords (8)

rhetorical functions; rhetorical effects; pragmatics of rephrase; illocutions; argumentation; speech acts; empirical methods; perlocutions

Lay Summary (French)

Lead
Au cours d’un échange communicationnel, il arrive qu’un.e locuteur.trice reformule son propre propos ou celui d’autrui, a priori avec une visée de clarification. Néanmoins, peut-on pour autant considérer qu’une reformulation est neutre, du point de vue rhétorique ? Ou, au contraire, y a-t-il des raisons de penser qu’une reformulation peut être exploitée à des fins persuasives ? Telles sont les questions principales auxquelles le projet biltéral AMoRe, un partenariat entre l’Université de Fribourg et l’École Polytechnique de Varsovie, tente de répondre.
Lay summary

A la différence de la paraphrase, utilisée pour exprimer une même idée avec un matériau linguistique différent de manière neutre, la reformulation (rephrase en anglais) intervient en contexte argumentatif pour fournir un argument supplémentaire destiné à soutenir le point de vue défendu. Nos études préliminaires ont montré que la reformulation est loin d’être un phénomène discursif marginal. D’une part, des analyses de corpus établissent sa présence dans une variété de genres discursifs différents, ce qui atteste de son statut particulier en tant que ressource argumentative. D’autre part, une étude expérimentale menée à l’Université de Fribourg a montré que des contenus reformulés sont davantage persuasifs que des contenus non reformulés et qu’ils se comportent comme des arguments.

La première ambition du projet AMoRe est à la fois descriptive et explicative : il s’agit de cartographier les types et les fonctions de la reformulation dans le langage naturel, par le biais d’études de corpus, mais également de tester ses effets rhétoriques et persuasifs dans les dimensions aristotéliciennes du logos, de l’ethos et du pathos. Au terme du projet, un modèle complet des aspects pragmatiques et argumentatifs du phénomène de reformulation sera ainsi disponible. La deuxième ambition d’AMoRe est d’ordre méthodologique : il s’agit du premier projet dédié à l’étude de phénomènes argumentatifs démontrant la complémentarité de deux méthodologies utilisées en sciences humaines : l’étude de corpus en linguistique computationnelle d’une part, et la démarche expérimentale en pragmatique et psycholinguistique de l’autre, qui seront utilisées de concert pour atteindre les objectifs descriptifs et explicatifs mentionnés plus haut. En tant que tel, AMoRe fait donc le pont entre des approches linguistiques et cognitives de manière inédite et contribue de ce fait à l’épistémologie de l’argumentation.

Direct link to Lay Summary Last update: 03.12.2021

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Abstract

SCIENTIFIC GOALS. This project investigates pragmatic and rhetorical aspects of the use of rephrase in argumentative discourse. Unlike the study of paraphrase, which has restricted its scope to the syntactic and semantic dimensions involved in producing a ‘similar but different’ version of what was previously said, the study of rephrase will here tackle the forms, functions and benefits of rephrase that are relevant from an argumentative point of view. The underlying assumption we explore and document in project AMoRe lies in the idea that rephrase is crucially not mere paraphrase. Specifically, this project will engage with the following three research questions: (RQ1) on which linguistic and discursive resources (from locutions to illocutions) does rephrase draw in argumentative exchanges? (RQ2) how are the different perlocutionary effects of rephrase connected to the use of specific locutions and illocutions displayed in argumentatively relevant instances of rephrase? (RQ3) how can linguistic evidence fuel empirical research designs meant to measure perlocutionary effects of rephrase, and how may the latter return reliable and useful feedback to support our theoretical efforts towards a deeper understanding of the linguistic and pragmatic structures of rephrase? In so doing, AMoRe importantly fills (i) descriptive gaps, by improving our knowledge of this phenomenon (the ‘what’ question), (ii) explanatory gaps, by illuminating the circumstances in which its effects can be observed (the ‘why’ question), and (iii) epistemological gaps, by supplying the description of rigorous and original methodological protocol that convincingly connect the study of locutions with that of illocutions and perlocutions (the ‘how’ question). OUTPUT. The project will deliver: (i) an annotation scheme and guidelines allowing to map dialogical arguments with rephrase structures; (ii) publicly available corpora of annotated rephrase types and structures; (iii) an inventory of propositional, stylistic, illocutionary and dialogical patterns associated with the use of rephrase to be published through a series of papers highlighting philosophical, linguistic and computational aspects; (iv) a methodological protocol allowing the systematic combination of linguistic and cognitive evidence which grounds our novel pragma-rhetorical account; (v) a fully-fledged pragma-rhetorical model of rephrase which integrates all aspects investigated in this project.METHODOLOGY. To ensure a sustainable and far-reaching scientific contribution, AMoRe draws on four different methodological approaches. (i) As our general philosophical framework, we adopt Speech act theory (Austin 1962, Searle 1969) and draw on its fundamental notions of locutionary act, illocutionary act and perlocutionary act to construe the argumentatively relevant phenomenon of rephrase. (ii) To conduct our analysis of linguistic patterns, we use Inference anchoring theory (Budzynska & Reed 2011), as the latter supplies the analytical apparatus required to conceptualise the pragmatic import of rephrase into argumentative structures, given its ability to connect SAT and formal dialogue systems. (iii) The empirical collection of our linguistic evidence for uses of rephrase will be conducted according to a bottom-up methodology supplying a reliable procedure to construct, annotate and analyse large spans of text with relevant and cutting-edge metrics and visualisation tools. (iv) We will collect cognitive evidence for rhetorical effects of rephrase in argumentation through a crowdsourced-based methodology, which will allow us to quantitatively record judgements on various measures related to perlocutionary effects.IMPACT. Along with its pragma-rhetorical model of the use of rephrase in argumentation, AMoRe will accordingly deliver a valuable epistemological contribution to the philosophy of argumentation - and to the philosophy of language more broadly. Indeed, this project will demonstrate how the integration of these four methodological strands into a coherent model adds high value to current research at the interface of pragmatics and argumentation theory. By documenting a fully functional research paradigm able to account for argumentatively and pragmatically relevant phenomena in novel and exhaustive ways, AMoRe therefore stands to make an unprecedented contribution to the philosophical study of language practices.
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