From Connectives to Argumentative Markers: A Quest for Markers of Argumentative Moves and of Related Aspects of Argumentative Discourse
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- Tseronis, A. Argumentation (2011) 25: 427. doi:10.1007/s10503-011-9215-x
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In this paper, I explore the potential of systematically studying the linguistic surface of discourse for the purposes of identifying markers of argumentative moves and other related categories, such as types of arguments and argumentative strategies. Such a list of argumentative markers can prove useful for the (semi)automatic treatment of a large corpus of texts. After reviewing literature on the linguistic realization of argumentative moves as well as literature on the subject of discourse markers, it becomes clear that the search for representative items of argumentative markers cannot be restricted to those elements marking relations but that it should also include elements that signal a certain function that is of pertinence to argumentative analysis. In this view, argumentative markers can be any single or complex lexical expression as well as a discursive configuration whose presence in a given utterance marks that utterance or the one preceding/following it, or a larger piece of discourse as having a certain argumentative function (as an argumentative move, a type of argument or an argumentative strategy). Examples taken from a French corpus on the controversy surrounding the development and applications of nanotechnology currently under study are used to illustrate the different types of argumentative markers proposed.