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30. Topoi, argumentative Muster und Präsuppositionen

Martin Wengeler

Abstract

This article outlines the concept of topos since its first usage in Aristotle’s “Rhetoric” up to its usage in modern research, especially in text linguistics and in linguistic discourse analysis. In addition to this, in the last chapter the concept of presupposition will be discussed as a conception for analyzing political rhetoric. Similarly to topoi, presuppositions allow the hearer or reader to understand utterances which are not said but still meant. Previously, in the first chapter the different usages and meanings of the word topos in ancient rhetoric are pointed out. Its function as an inference warrant in a pattern of argumentation is central. In addition, the difference between general and specific topoi will be outlined. Lastly, four characteristics of topoi shown by Lothar Bornscheuer will be presented: They are habitual, potential, intentional and symbolic. The second chapter gives an overview of modern research in linguistics which uses the concept of topoi for different aims. Especially its usage in different fields of discourse analysis is focused on.

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