A Natural Language Account for Argumentation Schemes

  • Elena Cabrio
  • Sara Tonelli
  • Serena Villata
Part of the Lecture Notes in Computer Science book series (LNCS, volume 8249)


One of the essential activities carried out by humans in their everyday linguistic interactions is the act of drawing a conclusion from given facts through some forms of reasoning. Given a sequence of statements (i.e. the premises), humans are able to infer or derive a conclusion that follows from the facts described in the premises. In the computational linguistics field, discourse analyses have been conducted to identify the discourse structure of connected text, i.e. the nature of the discourse relationships between sentences. In parallel, research in argumentation theory has proposed argumentation schemes as structures for defining various kinds of arguments. Although the two fields of study are strongly intertwined, only a few works have put them into relation. However, a clear natural language account for argumentation schemes is still missing. To address this open issue, our work analyses how argumentation schemes fit into the discourse relations in the Penn Discourse Treebank.


Natural Language Processing Discourse Analysis Discourse Relation Argumentation Scheme Argumentation Theory 
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. 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, 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)MathSciNetCrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  9. 9.
    Feng, V.W., Hirst, G.: Classifying arguments by scheme. In: Procs of ACL 2011, pp. 987–996 (2011)Google Scholar
  10. 10.
    Gordon, T.F., Walton, D.: Legal reasoning with argumentation schemes. In: ICAIL, pp. 137–146. ACM (2009)Google Scholar
  11. 11.
    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
  12. 12.
    Hastings, A.C.: A reformulation of the models of reasoning in argumentation. Ph.D. thesis (1963)Google Scholar
  13. 13.
    Mann, W., Thompson, S.: Rhetorical structure theory: Toward a functional theory of text organization. Text 8(3), 243–281 (1988)Google Scholar
  14. 14.
    Marcus, M.P., Santorini, B., Marcinkiewicz, M.A.: Building a Large Annotated Corpus of English: the Penn Treebank. Computational Linguistics 19(2), 313–330 (1993)Google Scholar
  15. 15.
    McBurney, P., Parsons, S.: Risk agoras: Dialectical argumentation for scientific reasoning. In: Procs of UAI, pp. 371–379 (2000)Google Scholar
  16. 16.
    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
  17. 17.
    Pitler, E., Nenkova, A.: Using syntax to disambiguate explicit discourse connectives in text. In: Procs of ACL 2009 (2009)Google Scholar
  18. 18.
    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
  19. 19.
    Rahwan, I., Simari, G. (eds.): Argumentation in Artificial Intelligence. Springer (2009)Google Scholar
  20. 20.
    Reed, C., Grasso, F.: Recent advances in computational models of natural argument. Int. J. Intell. Syst. 22(1), 1–15 (2007)CrossRefMATHGoogle Scholar
  21. 21.
    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
  22. 22.
    Reed, C.: Dialogue frames in agent communication. In: Procs of ICMAS 1998, pp. 246–253. IEEE Computer Society (1998)Google Scholar
  23. 23.
    Reed, C., Rowe, G.: Araucaria: Software for argument analysis, diagramming and representation. International Journal on Artificial Intelligence Tools 13(4), 983 (2004)CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. 24.
    Reed, C., Walton, D.: Applications of argumentation schemes. In: Procs of OSSA (2001)Google Scholar
  25. 25.
    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
  26. 26.
    Walton, D., Reed, C., Macagno, F.: Argumentation Schemes. Cambridge Univ. Press (2008)Google Scholar
  27. 27.
    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
  28. 28.
    Wyner, A.: Questions, arguments, and natural language semantics. In: Procs of CMNA 2012 (2012)Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2013

Authors and Affiliations

  • Elena Cabrio
    • 1
  • Sara Tonelli
    • 2
  • Serena Villata
    • 1
  1. 1.INRIA Sophia AntipolisFrance
  2. 2.Fondazione Bruno KesslerTrentoItaly

Personalised recommendations