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Intonation and Prosodic Structure

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Book Information

Title: Rhetorical Aspects of Discourses in Present-Day Society
Edited By: Lotte Dam
Lise-Lotte Holmgreen
Jeanne Strunc

Since antiquity, the notion of rhetoric has been associated with Aristotle,
Cicero and Quintilian. Their theories are central to the understanding
that, on the one hand, rhetoric can be used for persuading and convincing
an audience, and on the other, for becoming an eloquent speaker. Based on
this understanding, the study of rhetoric was for many years regarded by
scholars as a meaningless enterprise as it was perceived as a study of
linguistic ornamentation.

However, in the beginning of the twentieth century, scholars regained an
interest in the study of rhetoric in recognition of rhetorical skills being
important for communication in modern society. Like speakers in public
life, e.g. politicians, who had always acknowledged the role of rhetoric,
all sorts of communicators, mediators and scholars became interested in
rhetoric as a practical tool for building up texts meant for the public
sphere as well as an analytical tool for the critique of public
argumentation. This led to the development of new theories from New
Rhetoric over Rhetorical Criticism to theories of genre and discourse,
reflecting the view that rhetoric must be understood and used against the
social and cultural framework in which it is embedded.

The contributions of this book reflect this multi-faceted approach to
rhetoric, discourse and genre through their focus upon and analysis of
different institutionalised discourses. Thus, within the three sections of
political, journalistic and organisational discourse, the articles discuss
various discourse types and their rhetorical features, contributing to the
understanding of rhetoric and discourse having significant influence on
human action and interaction in society.

This wide-ranging book offers new insights into crucial aspects of the
public sphere-- politics, journalism and the corporate world. A deeply
rooted European tradition, the study of rhetoric, has re-appeared in the
contemporary world, a world in which the public display of persuasive
language seems to be the very essence of our self-understanding. Using
up-to-date approaches to discourse analysis, the contributors to this
volume deploy rhetorical analysis in a way that illuminates the nature of
the rhetorical maelstrom that engulfs us in today’s societies, and has been
doing so at an accelerating pace for the last half century. This is an
important volume indeed for anybody who is trying to make sense of the
rising flood of daily discourse.

Publication Year: 2008
Publisher: Cambridge Scholars Publishing
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Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis
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Format: Hardback
ISBN: 9781847186
ISBN-13: N/A
Prices: U.K. £ 39.99
U.S. $ 79.99