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Information and Persuasion

Studies in Linguistics, Literature, Culture, and Discourse Analysis

Edited By Maria-Ionela Neagu and Domnita Tomescu

This transdisciplinary study gathers research papers that reveal the multifarious facets of the concept of «persuasion». It is argued that regardless of its degree of intentionality, the act of persuasion underlying each information item prompts the interlocutors to cross the borders of political, historical, linguistic, narrative, psychotherapeutic, and even marketing configurations. The contributors’ contention is that political thinking and ideology-grounded linguistic patterns act as a form of social control, both informing and shaping the sense of identity of the manipulated masses and of the oppressed.

«Taking a sociolinguistic turn, this volume of interesting scholarly works addresses matters of ideological loadings in a variety of genres, contributing to the development of new research paradigms.» – Bledar Toska, University of Vlora «Ismail Qemali»

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Approximation as a means of persuasion in Romanian written press (Silvia Krieb Stoian)

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Silvia Krieb StoianPetroleum-Gas University of Ploiesti

Approximation as a means of persuasion in Romanian written press

Abstract: The paper starts from the premise that the linguistic phenomenon known as vagueness, ambiguity, approximation, imprecision, fuzziness or even generality is often employed as a strategy in the way that the speaker deliberately withholds information, not as a means of hiding the lack of information, but rather as a means of persuading the audience. The first part provides a general framework on approximation and makes a distinction between ambiguity/vagueness/approximation. The second part deals with linguistic approximators employed in the persuasive discourse of Romanian print and online media. The pragmatic importance of this phenomenon is also highlighted.

1.  Introduction – Theoretical background

1.1  Approximation – overview on previous research

Approximation or vagueness is a wide field related to linguistics, psychology, and philosophy. Researchers have investigated approximation in a variety of contexts. The founding theorist, however, is considered the American philosopher Peirce who defined the concept of vagueness as follows:

A proposition is vague where there are possible states of things concerning which it is intrinsically uncertain whether, had they been contemplated by the speaker, he would have regarded them as excluded or allowed by the proposition. By intrinsically uncertain we mean not uncertain in consequence of any ignorance of the interpreter, but because the speaker’s habits of language were indeterminate; so that one day he would regard the proposition as...

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