Analyzing Argumentative Discourse

  • Frans H. van EemerenEmail author
  • Rob Grootendorst
Part of the Argumentation Library book series (ARGA, volume 27)


In this chapter, we explain some of the basics of the pragma-dialectical approach to argumentation which was introduced in van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1984). First, we make a comparison between dialectical analysis and rhetorical analysis, which is probably more familiar to most readers. Then, we sketch an ideal model of a critical discussion that can serve as a point of departure for dialectically analyzing argumentative discourse. In this model, we distinguish the various stages through which the resolution of a difference of opinion should pass and mention the types of speech acts that can play a constructive role in each of these stages. Finally, we show what kind of pragma-dialectical transformations are to be carried out in a reconstruction of argumentative discourse which starts from this ideal model and leads to an analytic overview of the aspects of the discourse that are crucial for its evaluation.


Ideal Model Critical Discussion Opening Stage Argumentation Structure Argumentative Discourse 
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  1. van Eemeren, F. H., & Grootendorst, R. (1984). Speech Acts in Argumentative Discussions Directed Towards Solving Conflicts of Opinion. Berlin: De Gruyter.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing Switzerland 2015

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Speech Communication, Argumentation Theory and Rhetoric, Faculty of HumanitiesUniversity of AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands

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