Argumentation

, Volume 3, Issue 4, pp 395–400 | Cite as

Confrontation in conversations: The adjacency pair as a tool of the descriptive component of a Pragma-dialectical analysis

  • Agnes Verbiest
Article
  • 97 Downloads

Abstract

Within the Pragma-Dialectical School of argumentation theory both a normative and a descriptive component are essential in order to account for a reconstruction of argumentative language use. This paper concentrates on the descriptive component and discusses the choice of the adjacency pair as a tool for the systematic description of the confrontation stage of argumentative conversations. First a structural description of confrontation in conversation is developed from the discourse analytical approach to argumentation of Jackson and Jacobs, within the normative frame of the theory of argumentation of Van Eemeren and Grootendorst. Then the pro's and con's of the adjacency pair model for the analysis of conversation in general and for that of argumentative conversation in particular are discussed. Where the adjacency pair fails, alternative models like Edmondson's model for the analysis of spoken discourse (1981) are examined. Finally the description of confrontation in conversations in terms of the adjacency pair is shown to be in line with the rational model for describing the pragmatic aspects of conversational coherence proposed by Jackson and Jacobs in 1983 and with their current thinking on the status of adjacency pairs (1987). For the elaboration of Jackson and Jacobs' sketch of a rational model of conversational coherence the use of notions from Edmondson's model of interactional analysis is recommended.

Key words

Argumentation conversation description reconstruction analysis adjacency pair speech acts coherence 

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References

  1. Edmondson, W.: 1981, Spoken Discourse: A Model for Analysis, Longman, London and New York.Google Scholar
  2. Eemeren, F. H. van and R. Grootendorst: 1984, Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions, Foris Publications, Dordrecht-Holland/Providence-U.S.A.Google Scholar
  3. Jackson, S. and S. Jacobs: 1980, ‘Structure of Conversational Argument: Pragmatic Bases for the Enthymeme’, The Quarterly Journal of Speech 66, 251–65.Google Scholar
  4. Jacobs, Scott: 1987, ‘The Management of Disagreement in Conversation’, in Frans H. van Eemeren, Rob Grootendorst, J. Anthony Blair and Charles A. Willard (eds.), Argumentation: Across the Lines of Discipline, Foris Publications, Dordrecht-Holland/Providence-U.S.A., pp. 229–39.Google Scholar
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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 1989

Authors and Affiliations

  • Agnes Verbiest
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Dutch Speech CommunicationState University LeidenLeidenThe Netherlands

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