Speech acts of argumentation: inference anchors and peripheral cues in dialogue

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    It is well known that argumentation can usefully be analysed as a distinct, if complex, type of speech act. Speech acts that form a part of argumentative discourse, and in particular, of argumentative dialogue, can be seen as anchors for the establishment of inferences between propositions in the domain of discourse. Most often, the speech acts that directly give rise to inference are implicit, but can be drawn out in analysis by consideration of the type of dialogue game being played. AI approaches to argumentation often focus solely on such inferences as the means by which persuasion can be effected - but this is in contrast with psychological and rhetorical models which have long recognised the role played by extra-logical features of the dialogical context. These 'peripheral' cues can not only affect persuasive effect of the logical, 'central' argumentation, but can override and dominate it. This paper presents a theory which allows both central and peripheral aspects of argumentation to be represented in a coherent analytical account based on the sequences of speech acts which constitute dialogues.
    Original languageEnglish
    Title of host publicationComputational models of natural argument
    Subtitle of host publicationpapers from the 2011 AAAI Workshop
    PublisherAAAI Press
    Number of pages8
    ISBN (Print)9781577355267
    Publication statusPublished - 2011


    • Argumentative dialogues
    • Dialogue game
    • Rhetorical model
    • Speech acts


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