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  • Author: Martin Hinton x
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Abstract

This paper begins with an assessment of the origin of the term ‘deep disagreement’ to reflect fundamental differences in argument procedure and suggests an alternative explanation of such stalemates that may apply in many cases and does lead to a possible resolution strategy, through discussion of the ordering of certain principles, rather than their acceptance or rejection. Similarities are then drawn with disputes which are supported by conflicting expert opinions and I lay out the advantages of seeking to resolve them through the construction of an epistemic hierarchy. It is noted that while such hierarchies may not be easy to build, and are certainly not fool-proof, their importance is in the provision of a mechanism by which an apparently stalled debate can move forward, leading to a better understanding of the conflicting positions, if not full resolution.

Abstract

This paper has a dual purpose: it both seeks to introduce the other works in this issue by illustrating how they are related to the field of argumentation as a whole, and to make clear the tremendous range of research currently being carried out by argumentation theorists which is concerned with the interaction and inter-reliance of language and argument. After a brief introduction to the development of the field of argumentation, as many as eight language-based approaches to the study of argument are identified, taking as their perspective: rhetoric, argument structure, argument as act, discourse analysis, corpus methods, emotive argument, and narrative argument. The conclusion makes it clear that these branches of study are all themselves interconnected and that it is the fusion of methodologies and theory from linguistics and the philosophical study of argument which lends this area of research its dynamism.

Abstract

This paper reports on a study into the inter-relationships amongst foreign language pronunciation, mimicry ability and a range of personality and attitudinal factors. It will begin with a brief review of studies into affective influences on pronunciation ability (Arnold 1999, Hu & Reiterer 2009) and research into the importance of mimicry talent (Jilka 2009; Piske, MacKay & Flege 2001). This will be followed by a short description of a pilot study carried out prior to the main experiment.

In the main study, a group of Polish learners of English completed a number of mimicry tasks in three languages: Italian, Dutch and Chinese, as well as a narration task in English. Mimicry performance and English pronunciation were then assessed by native speakers and compared. Participants also completed a questionnaire concerning their feelings about the languages they were to mimic and a second questionnaire designed to detect affective factors such as language learning anxiety, as well as attitudes towards the pronunciation of Polish and English. The pilot study suggested that the perceived attractiveness of the foreign language to be mimicked did not affect the performance of most participants, and that mimicry skill was fairly constant across languages. However, those who were particularly concerned about their personal appearance showed greater fluctuation in their ability to mimic and their performance appeared to be influenced by their attitude towards the language. This is referred to by the author as the Cecily effect. That study also confirmed the results of my previous experimental work showing that mimicry skill is correlated to some degree with English language pronunciation and that both pronunciation and mimicry are negatively affected by high levels of anxiety. The main study sets out to investigate whether or not these conclusions hold true for a larger sample population and also seeks to determine the effect of confidence and willingness to take risks on scores for both foreign language pronunciation and mimicry exercises.

Abstract

This paper sets out to investigate changes and individual irregularities in the Received Pronunciation of a number of individuals over time and to compare them with the changes noted in contemporary RP in the literature. The aim of the study is to ascertain whether accent change affects individuals during their lifetimes or is only brought about by new generations of speakers accepting different pronunciations as the norm and effectively speaking with a different accent to older generations within their social circle. The variations/changes looked for were: CLOTH transfer, CURE lowering, GOAT allophony, R-sandhi, and T-voicing. The procedure of the study was to identify the presence or absence of these features in the speech of certain individuals in recordings made over a period of at least 35 years. The individuals studied were: Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II, Baroness Thatcher, Sir David Attenborough and David Dimbleby. The results of these comparisons suggest that individual speakers are not greatly affected by changes in pronunciation taking place around them and generally stay with the preferred pronunciation of their youth. There are, however, cases where a general uncertainty amongst speakers of the accent, here found in CURE lowering, does influence the speech of individuals over time.

Abstract

This paper combines quantitative and qualitative methodologies to study the persuasive strategies employed by candidates taking part in televised pre-election debates in Poland and the United States between 1995 and 2016. First, the authors identify the key strategies and calculate the frequency with which they are used by individual candidates. This allows for numerical comparisons between politicians in the two polities, as well as between winners and losers, and candidates of the right and the left politically. These statistical results led the authors to look more closely at the individual styles of two contrasting debaters. We conclude that the rhetorical landscape of political communication does not differ greatly between the two countries; although the data suggest noticeable differences in the approach of political parties and between individuals.

Abstract

In September 2018, the ArgDiaP association, along with colleagues from Germany and the UK, organised one of the longest and most interdisciplinary series of events ever dedicated to argumentation - Warsaw Argumentation Week, WAW 2018. The eleven-day ‘week’ featured a five day graduate school on computational and linguistic perspectives on argumentation (3rd SSA school); five workshops: on systems and algorithms for formal argumentation (2nd SAFA), argumentation in relation to society (1st ArgSoc), philosophical approaches to argumentation (1st ArgPhil), legal argumentation (2ndMET-ARG) and argumentation in rhetoric (1st MET-RhET); and two conferences: on computational models of argumentation (7th COMMA conference) and on argumentation and corpus linguistics (16th ArgDiaP conference). WAW hosted twelve tutorials and eight invited talks as well as welcoming over 130 participants. All the conferences and workshops publish pre- or post-proceedings in the top journals and book series in the field.