From Discourse Analysis to Argumentation Schemes and Back: Relations and Differences

  • Elena Cabrio
  • Sara Tonelli
  • Serena Villata
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8143)


In argumentation theory, argumentation schemes are abstract argument forms expressed in natural language, commonly used in everyday conversational argumentation. In computational linguistics, discourse analysis have been conducted to identify the discourse structure of connected text, i.e. the nature of the discourse relationships between sentences. In this paper, we propose to couple these two research lines in order to (i) use the discourse relationships to automatically detect the argumentation schemes in natural language text, and (ii) use argumentation schemes to reason over natural language arguments composed by premises and a conclusion. In particular, we analyze how argumentation schemes fit into the discourse relations in the Penn Discourse Treebank and which are the argumentation schemes which emerge from this natural language corpus.


Natural Language Natural Language Processing Discourse Analysis Discourse Relation Argumentation Scheme 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. 1.
    Amgoud, L., Prade, H.: Can AI models capture natural language argumentation? Int. J. of Cognitive Informatics and Natural Intelligence (2013)Google Scholar
  2. 2.
    Apotheloz, D.: The function of negation in argumentation. J. of Pragmatics, 23–38 (1993)Google Scholar
  3. 3.
    Bex, F., Reed, C.: Dialogue templates for automatic argument processing. In: Procs. of COMMA 2012, pp. 366–377 (2012)Google Scholar
  4. 4.
    Cabrio, E., Villata, S.: Natural language arguments: A combined approach. In: Procs. of ECAI 2012. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, vol. 242, pp. 205–210 (2012)Google Scholar
  5. 5.
    Carenini, G., Moore, J.D.: Generating and evaluating evaluative arguments. Artif. Intell. 170(11), 925–952 (2006)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. 6.
    Carletta, J.: Assessing agreement on classification tasks: the kappa statistic. Comput. Linguist. 22(2), 249–254 (1996)Google Scholar
  7. 7.
    Chesñevar, C.I., Maguitman, A.: An argumentative approach to assessing natural language usage based on the web corpus. In: Procs. of ECAI 2004, pp. 581–585 (2004)Google Scholar
  8. 8.
    Dung, P.: On the acceptability of arguments and its fundamental role in nonmonotonic reasoning, logic programming and n-person games. Artif. Intell. 77(2), 321–358 (1995)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Feng, V.W., Hirst, G.: Classifying arguments by scheme. In: Procs. of ACL 2012, pp. 987–996 (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gilbert, M.: Getting good value. facts, values, and goals in computational linguistics. In: Procs. of ICCS 2010, pp. 989–998 (2001)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    Gordon, T.F., Prakken, H., Walton, D.: The carneades model of argument and burden of proof. Artif. Intell. 171(10-15), 875–896 (2007)MathSciNetCrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  12. 12.
    Gordon, T.F., Walton, D.: Legal reasoning with argumentation schemes. In: ICAIL 2009, pp. 137–146. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Grasso, F., Cawsey, A., Jones, R.B.: Dialectical argumentation to solve conflicts in advice giving: a case study in the promotion of healthy nutrition. Int. J. Hum.-Comput. Stud. 53(6), 1077–1115 (2000)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  14. 14.
    Grice, H.P.: Logic and conversation. In: Cole, P., Morgan, J.L. (eds.) Syntax and Semantics: Speech Acts, vol. 3, pp. 41–58. Academic Press (1975)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    Grosz, B., Sidner, C.: Attention, Intentions and the Structure of Discourse. Computational Linguistics (1986)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    Hastings, A.C.: A reformulation of the models of reasoning in argumentation. Ph.D. thesis, Evanstone, Illinois (1963)Google Scholar
  17. 17.
    Hobbs, J.: On the Coherence and Structure of Discourse. Tech. rep., Stanford University (1985)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    Mann, W., Thompson, S.: Rhetorical structure theory: Toward a functional theory of text organization. Text 8(3), 243–281 (1988)Google Scholar
  19. 19.
    McBurney, P., Parsons, S.: Risk agoras: Dialectical argumentation for scientific reasoning. In: Procs. of UAI 2000, pp. 371–379 (2000)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Parsons, S., Atkinson, K., Haigh, K.Z., Levitt, K.N., McBurney, P., Rowe, J., Singh, M.P., Sklar, E.: Argument schemes for reasoning about trust. In: Procs. of COMMA 2012, pp. 430–441 (2012)Google Scholar
  21. 21.
    Pitler, E., Nenkova, A.: Using syntax to disambiguate explicit discourse connectives in text. In: Procs. of ACL 2009 (2009)Google Scholar
  22. 22.
    Prakken, H.: An abstract framework for argumentation with structured arguments. Argument & Computation 1, 93–124 (2010)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. 23.
    Prasad, R., Dinesh, N., Lee, A., Miltsakaki, E., Robaldo, L., Joshi, A., Webber, B.: The Penn Discourse TreeBank 2.0. In: Procs. of LREC 2008 (2008)Google Scholar
  24. 24.
    Pulfrey-Taylor, S., Henthorn, E., Atkinson, K., Wyner, A., Bench-Capon, T.J.M.: Populating an online consultation tool. In: Atkinson, K. (ed.) JURIX. Frontiers in Artificial Intelligence and Applications, vol. 235, pp. 150–154. IOS Press (2011)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    Rahwan, I., Simari, G. (eds.): Argumentation in Artificial Intelligence. Springer (2009)Google Scholar
  26. 26.
    Reed, C., Grasso, F.: Recent advances in computational models of natural argument. Int. J. Intell. Syst. 22(1), 1–15 (2007)CrossRefzbMATHGoogle Scholar
  27. 27.
    Reed, C., Walton, D.: Towards a formal and implemented model of argumentation schemes in agent communication. Autonomous Agents and Multi-Agent Systems 11(2), 173–188 (2005)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  28. 28.
    Reed, C.: Dialogue frames in agent communication. In: Procs. of ICMAS 1998, pp. 246–253. IEEE Computer Society (1998)Google Scholar
  29. 29.
    Reed, C., Rowe, G.: Araucaria: Software for argument analysis, diagramming and representation. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools 13(4), 983–1003 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. 30.
    Reed, C., Walton, D.: Applications of argumentation schemes. In: Procs. of OSSA 2001 (2001)Google Scholar
  31. 31.
    The PDTB Research Group: The PDTB 2.0. Annotation Manual. Tech. Rep. IRCS-08-01, Institute for Research in Cognitive Science, University of Pennsylvania (2008)Google Scholar
  32. 32.
    Toulmin, S.: The Uses of Argument. Cambridge University Press (1958)Google Scholar
  33. 33.
    Walton, D., Reed, C., Macagno, F.: Argumentation Schemes. Cambridge University Press (2008)Google Scholar
  34. 34.
    Wyner, A., van Engers, T.: A framework for enriched, controlled on-line discussion forums for e-government policy-making. In: Procs. of eGov 2010 (2010)Google Scholar
  35. 35.
    Wyner, A.: Questions, arguments, and natural language semantics. In: Procs. of CMNA 2012 (2012)Google Scholar
  36. 36.
    Wyner, A., Schneider, J., Atkinson, K., Bench-Capon, T.J.M.: Semi-automated argumentative analysis of online product reviews. In: Procs. of COMMA 2012, pp. 43–50 (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Cabrio
    • 1
  • Sara Tonelli
    • 2
  • Serena Villata
    • 1
  1. 1.INRIA Sophia AntipolisFrance
  2. 2.FBK TrentoItaly

Personalised recommendations