Annotating argument schemes

Jacky Visser, John Lawrence, Chris Reed, Jean Wagemans, Douglas Walton

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Abstract

Argument schemes are abstractions substantiating the inferential connection between premise(s) and conclusion in argumentative communication. Identifying such conventional patterns of reasoning is essential to the interpretation and evaluation of argumentation. Whether studying argumentation from a theory-driven or data-driven perspective, insight into the actual use of argumentation in communicative practice is essential. Large and reliably annotated corpora of argumentative discourse to quantitatively provide such insight are few and far between. This is all the more true for argument scheme corpora, which tend to suffer from a combination of limited size, poor validation, and the use of ad hoc restricted typologies. In the current paper, we describe the annotation of schemes on the basis of two distinct classifications: Walton’s taxonomy of argument schemes, and Wagemans’ Periodic Table of Arguments. We describe the annotation procedure for each, and the quantitative characteristics of the resulting annotated text corpora. In doing so, we extend the annotation of the preexisting US2016 corpus of televised election debates, resulting in, to the best of our knowledge, the two largest consistently annotated corpora of schemes in argumentative dialogue publicly available. Based on evaluation in terms of inter-annotator agreement, we propose further improvements to the guidelines for annotating schemes: the argument scheme key, and the Argument Type Identification Procedure.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationArgumentation Through Languages and Cultures
EditorsChristian Plantin
Place of PublicationCham
PublisherSpringer
Pages101-139
Number of pages39
ISBN (Electronic)978-3-031-19321-7
ISBN (Print)978-3-031-19320-0
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2022

Keywords

  • Annotation
  • Argument scheme
  • Argumentation scheme
  • Argument scheme key (ASK)
  • Argument Type Identification Procedure (ATIP)
  • Corpus
  • Election debates
  • Periodic table of arguments

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