2004
Volume 35, Issue 2
  • ISSN: 1573-9775
  • E-ISSN: 2352-1236

Abstract

[This paper is a revised version of the farewell lecture of Peter Jan Schellens as a Professor of Language and Communication at the Faculty of Arts of Radboud University Nijmegen on January 11, 2013.] The high tone of voice in Dutch public and parliamentary debates is frequently criticised. However, what do we mean with a high ‘tone of voice’? This contribution uses a case study on wildlife starvation from 2010 to answer this question from a stylistic and an argumentative perspective. The case resolved around the question whether gamekeepers should provide additional food to rescue starving wildlife in the Dutch nature reserve “The Oostvaardersplassen” or not. This issue was hotly debated in newspapers, on digital platforms, and in two parliamentary debates. The analysis of this debate reveals that two pragmatic features contribute to a rising tone of voice. Firstly, debaters often forcefully delivered their arguments by using a variety of language intensifiers, such as strong adverbs, adjectives and metaphors. Secondly, they frequently interlaced their argumentation with interactional fallacies, such as arguments and strawman fallacies. These can threaten the relations of discussants in the debate. While intensified language and interactional fallacies are less frequently found in the parliamentary debates, they are most frequent in Internet discussion. Probably, the use of such pragmatic devices is only persuasive when preaching to the choir: Interactional fallacies and intensified language do not persuade opponents in the debate.

Loading

Article metrics loading...

/content/journals/10.5117/TVT2013.2.SCHE
2013-10-01
2022-05-19
Loading full text...

Full text loading...

http://instance.metastore.ingenta.com/content/journals/10.5117/TVT2013.2.SCHE
Loading
This is a required field
Please enter a valid email address
Approval was a Success
Invalid data
An Error Occurred
Approval was partially successful, following selected items could not be processed due to error