Tatiana Frolova — The Linguistic Argument and its Kinds

Nr. 18    Juli 2011 TRANS: Internet-Zeitschrift für Kulturwissenschaften

Section | Sektion: Semantik, Diskurs und interkulturelle Kommunikation aus interdisziplinärer Perspektive

The Linguistic Argument and its Kinds

Tatiana Frolova (Pyatigorsk State Linguistic University, Russia) [BIO]

Email: tanyavip7@mail.ru

 Konferenzdokumentation |  Conference publication


The argument can be defined as the social, intellectual, verbal activity serving to the justification or a refutation of the point of view, presented by a system of the statements directed on achievement of approval at certain audience. During the argument telling really aspires, as it is possible to present more clearly the point of view, ignoring in certain cases possible consequences of the proofs and reaction of the addressee. For this reason the factor of a disagreement is put in a basis of many other definitions of the argument [1]. Besides the argument is defined as «the technics of speech directed on belief of the interlocutor, audience» [2,488]. It is possible to tell that the argument represents communicative activity of the subject in триединстве verbal, nonverbal and extra linguistic which purpose is the belief of the addressee through a substantiation of correctness of the position.

In the course of arguing the speaking realizes itself as the language person, showing the language, communicative and linguistic competence. Involved there is its knowledge, representation, common sense, valuable system, an emotional condition, and also its social status and social roles which to it should be „executed“.

Interest to the natural language argument, shown in second half of XXth century in philosophy, psychology, rhetoric, the logician, linguistics, sociology, conflictology, ergonomics, is reflection of parallel processes of steady integration of sciences in frameworks когнитивной a paradigm and going deep specialization. On the other hand, the aspiration to create the complete theory of the argument is caused by its communication with such actual directions as engineering of human factors, a categorization of behavior of the person, modeling of human activity.

In effect, cognitive the paradigm which has become by the integrating factor for many scientific disciplines, is one more, new attempt to come nearer to knowledge of the nature of human reason. Distinguishes it from all previous comprehension by experts of that fact that success it will crown only as a result of the general efforts at a substantiation of correctness of the position.

Same promotes and even more often realized necessity to move apart border of area which was considered earlier especially linguistic. After all force application (as kinetic influence) can be considered as the argument kind, one of forms of continuation of dispute. Thus, however, inevitably there is a question on boundary cases in definition of concept arguments.

Besides models it is necessary to consider as criterion of a maturity of the theory the developed terminology. With development of the theory of the argument began to develop and its meta language which has put a number of new questions concerning the meta argument (meta reasoning), understood as 1) the given reason interpretation of arguments and as 2) the given reason estimation of arguments [3, 167-168]. Now the argument theory is that area where the efforts directed not so much on moving and multiplication of terms, how many on revealing unstudied linguistic essences »[4, 99] are important«.

The wide range of the disciplines connected with the argument, and spectrum of considered problems specify that the natural language argument is the many-sided phenomenon. She always assumes dialectic unity of two processes – internal (acceptance the decision) and external (process of social interaction for the purpose of belief of the recipient). Each of these processes is defined numerous, various factors by the nature. Therefore arguing, in our opinion, can be considered as a case of use of language which is identified not with an establishment only truth conditional value, and with wide interpretation of the facts. The argument is dynamical, as it is always a process. It is no wonder that it is connected, first of all, with predication, as any thought always predicate. Feature of the argument as process consists in persuasiveness creation in installation; on belief of the addressee. In an ideal a strategic problem of the argument – convincing influence – is reached at the expense of reliability of arguments, their consistency, sufficiency and sequence of their representation.

As cognitive process in thinking of the person the argument ranks with estimation. The cognitive aspect of the argument consists that during the argument interaction of systems of perception, representation and an information producing, that is carried out.

Argumentative practice is based on deep inferential to the structure assuming presence of parcels in the form of complex social representations, the concepts incorporating intellectual, spiritual, emotional and mental aspirations of the person. At the argument in a natural language all these parcels remain in implication, but define strategy and dialogue tactics, „supervise“ over a choice of language means. Thus, with cognitive the points of view the argument represents set of procedures over world models which can cause change of structure of knowledge not only listening, but also telling, that is redistribution of sets of knowledge between speaking during their communicative activity.

The argument, thus is a part of the general model of activity of the person created cognitive by a science. Under the influence of transition to cognitive to a paradigm argumentative process began to be considered as a way of processing of belief (beliefs) in cognitive to system of an individual. The argument, in turn, began to be represented as a component in system of mutual relations of the sender and the addressee. For this purpose there are bases. After all a substantiation of correctness of the position. The argument is impossible without mutual understanding: to accept or reject arguments it is possible only after their understanding, correlation with the frame of reference and the opponent.

The argument can be characterized as one of mental processes, because as a way of a reasoning the argument – the thought process demanding intense cogitative activity. As the basic functions she assumes an explanation, acknowledgement, a summarization, correction, objection, etc.

The argument in communicative process assumes implication, a context remaining outside of sphere of action logicians. Application of methods of logic at the argument in this case is interfered by purely language factors, such as amorphy of languages, semantic paradoxes, etc. Therefore gradually even logicians have receded from argument definition as process of the logic proof of the validity of the statement and also began to adhere more open-minded, believing that the argument is an operation of a substantiation of any judgments, practical decisions or estimations in which along with logic speech, emotionally-psychological and other not logic ways of belief [5, 416] are applied also.

The argument can be defined as communicative process – influence process on the addressee mainly verbal means for the purpose of elimination cognitive. The cognitive discord in this case is treated according to L representations.

There is practical and theoretical arguing. In the theoretical argument rules of preservation of true are important (truth – preserving rule) not to come to the false conclusions. Object of the practical argument is the uniform standard judgment. Practical arguing in spontaneous communications is reduced not to true or false statements, and is faster to the permission of the created conflict situation. Therefore, if there are rules of practical logic their observance means ability to hold to the plan, justifying achievement of objects in view.

Argument kinds include the argument from concrete to abstract, from abstract to concrete, associative, descriptive, analytical arguing. The argument can be direct and indirect; actually the argument which contextually-caused by the argument both has been composite-caused; implicit and explicit. For the academic discourse the demonstrative argument with explicit logic communications, accurate expansion of proofs, for example, is characteristic. The spontaneous argument «feeds to» implication. Calculation in it becomes for short-term memory and direct perception, on an emotionality. In it associations dominate. At the argument in the academic discourse, for example, there is an appeal to deep levels of knowledge that is the argument takes place cognitive.

Allocation single (single), plural (multiple) and subordinated (subordinate) arguments [3] is possible. The argument for expression and support of the first basis – main, for the second – minor. The nominative argument allows to impose conceptual model, integrative the argument – to allocate layers in structure of knowledge. One of argument kinds is citing.

Allocate legal, no monotonic (no monotonic), the common sense argument (соmmon sense reasoning), the cancellation argument (defeasible argumentation). With reference to a problem of cancellation of arguments there is a question on a uniform state of peace or the several worlds (multiple extension), plural contexts (multiple contexts), concentration of the worlds (cluster of worlds), frameworks референций (frame of reference) as at cancellation there is an audit of knowledge and search of knowledge, information on the world.

The no monotonic argument issued in 80th years of the XXth century in connection with computer programming, and developing on the basis of mathematical and logic modeling, is among linguistically the independent. It is considered that the no monotonic argument concerns reasoning cases at insufficient knowledge of the world, with not logic way.

Distinguish the argument sign and causal. Sign arguing oversteps the bounds of verbal communications, but more often these kinds of the argument intertwine.

Besides listed above kinds exists:

  • the argument definitions which aren’t identical to dictionary definitions. It assumes statement creation – the staticized offer. It is more difficult, than the argument separate words as to express argument one offer extremely difficult. The birth of the Constitution of the USA became result of the argument by definitions: its many positions were issued during debate between the Lincoln and Douglas.
  • the argument by an explanation, based on causal communication.
  • The proves and effectiveness of the argument depend on a source of the data, sequence and connectivity of the separate facts. Difficulties at the argument arise in case of vulnerability, an inconsistency of parcels, arguments, conclusions (defeasibility) and infringements of causal communications.
  • the argument by an illustration which is based on analogy and assumes comparison without which any analogy is impossible. Direct comparison can be carried out in the form of similarity, parallelism, representation. The antithesis based on contrast comparison, is more effective, than direct comparison. Thus as for the sender, and the addressee are important correlation to experience (reference to experience) and acquaintance with compared objects (familiarity).
  • the pseudo-argument. Though in dialogue it is a lot of the elements inherent in the argument (why-question,), dialogue it is impossible to name grammatical negation, stylistic reception of increase the argument literally this word, as it inconclusive. It simply exchange of phrases, citing of the previous remarks of the interlocutor. Actually all allocated kinds of the argument, anyhow, are engaged in the specification of the argument of common sense.



  1. Gilbert, Michael: Goals in Argumentation – Bonn, Practical Reasoning, 1996
  2. Christmas JU.V.: Theory of rhetoric – М, Dobrosovet, 1999
  3. Finocchiaro, Maurice A.: Reasoning about reasoning – Bonn, Practical Reasoning. 1996
  4. Zolotov G. A.: Monopredicativity and polypredicativity in Russian синтаксисе.//linguistics Questions. 1995. №2
  5. Ivin A.A.: Theory of the argument – М, Gardarika, 2000


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