Enthymemes and Topoi in Dialogue

The Use of Common Sense Reasoning in Conversation


In Enthymemes and Topoi in Dialogue, Ellen Breitholtz presents a novel and precise account of reasoning from an interactional perspective. The account draws on the concepts of enthymemes and topoi, originating in Aristotelian rhetoric and dialectic, and integrates these in a formal dialogue semantic account using TTR, a type theory with records.
Argumentation analysis and formal approaches to reasoning often focus the logical validity of arguments on inferences made in discourse from a god’s-eye perspective. In contrast, Breitholtz’s account emphasises the individual perspectives of interlocutors and the function and acceptability of their reasoning in context. This provides an analysis of interactions where interlocutors have access to different topoi and therefore make different inferences.
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Ellen Breitholtz, Ph.D. (2015), is Associate Researcher at the University of Gothenburg where she works on formal accounts of language involving enthymematic reasoning and topoi. She also leads a project on reasoning in dialogues involving patients with schizophrenia.
List of Figures

1 Micro-Rhetoric in Dialogic Interaction
 1.1  Interaction Based Linguistics
 1.2  Micro-rhetorical Linguistics
 1.3  The Aristotelian Enthymeme
 1.4  Topoi—the Warrants of Enthymemes
 1.5  Linking Enthymeme and Topos
 1.6  Aim and Outline of This Book

2 Enthymematic Reasoning and Pragmatics
 2.1  Introduction
 2.2  Presupposition
 2.3  Conversational Implicature
 2.4  Relevance Theory
 2.5  Anti-inferentialism
 2.6  Discourse Coherence
 2.7  Summary

3 Enthymemes in Dialogue
 3.1  Introduction
 3.2  Using ttr to Analyse Interaction
 3.3  Analysing a Simple Dialogue
 3.4  Introducing Enthymematic Reasoning on the dgb
 3.5  Summary

4 Analysing Enthymematic Dialogue
 4.1  Enthymeme Elicited by Why?
 4.2  Coordinating on Topoi
 4.3  Summary

5 Participating in Enthymematic Dialogue
 5.1  Enthymemes and Cognitive Load
 5.2  Enthymemes and Dialogue Context
 5.3  Conversational Games
 5.4  The Suggestion Game
 5.5  Analysing a Suggestion Dialogue
 5.6  Summary

6 Rhetorical Reasoning in Dialogue
 6.1  A Rhetorical Perspective on Non-monotonicity
 6.2  Drawing on Topoi in Conversation
 6.3  Acquiring Topoi in Interaction
 6.4  Summary

7 Conclusions and Future Work
 7.1  Conclusions
 7.2  Future Work
 7.3  Summary

Appendix 1: Update Rules
Appendix 2: Definitions
All interested in the pragmatics-rhetoric interface and in theories of meaning and coherence in dialogue and discourse.