Pragmatics through argumentative press articles. From theory to practice


The paper reports on a thirty-hour teaching module of English at the University of Udine in the second year of the degree course in Lingue e Letterature Straniere. The main goal was to raise the students’ awareness of how discourse and pragmatics provide tools useful to the discovery in an argumentative press article of the writer’s strategies to persuade the addressee and the role of the addressee in shaping language and content choices. The paper illustrates the methodology that was followed. It is divided into two sections. The first one contains a presentation of academic research related to the main themes covered in the course, from the layout of argumentation (Toulmin 2003, p. 87) to the arguer’s “strategic maneuvering” (van Eemeren 2010, p. 41) to persuade the “audience” (Perelman, Olbrechts-Tyteca 1969, pp. 5-8, 19). The second section describes the syllabus of the module to facilitate the comprehension of concepts from discourse and pragmatics. An overview of five workshops from the ten that characterized the module is included. A synthesis of a mini-lecture, aimed at connecting the students’ analysis of the articles to the academic research, concludes the presentation of each workshop.


DOI Code: 10.1285/i22390359v39p97

Keywords: argumentation; speech act; macrospeech act; audience; manoeuvering.


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