1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Persuasion

Edited By Jeanne Fahnestock, Randy Allen Harris Copyright 2023
    584 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This handbook provides a wide-ranging, authoritative, and cutting-edge overview of language and persuasion. Featuring a range of international contributors, the handbook outlines the basic materials of linguistic persuasion – sound, words, syntax, and discourse – and the rhetorical basics that they enable, such as appeals, argument schemes, arrangement strategies, and accommodation devices.

    After a comprehensive introduction that brings together the elements of linguistics and the vectors of rhetoric, the handbook is divided into six parts. Part I covers the basic rhetorical appeals to character, the emotions, argument schemes, and types of issues that constitute persuasion. Part II covers the enduring effects of persuasive language, from humor to polarization, while a special group of chapters in Part III examines figures of speech and their rhetorical uses. In Part IV, contributors focus on different fields and genres of argument as entry points for research into conventions of arguing. Part V examines the evolutionary and developmental roots of persuasive language, and Part VI highlights new computational methods of language analysis.

    This handbook is essential reading for those researching and studying persuasive language in the fields of linguistics, rhetoric, argumentation, communication, discourse studies, political science, psychology, digital studies, mass media, and journalism.


    List of Contributors


    Rhetoric, Linguistics, and the Study of Persuasion: An Overview and an Introduction

    Randy Allen Harris and Jeanne Fahnestock

    Part I. Basic Constituents of Rhetorical Persuasion

    Chapter 1. Patterns of Argument: Aristotelian Topoi and Argumentation Schemes

    Christopher W. Tindale

    Chapter 2. A Reason to Feel: Rhetorical Style and Pathotic Enthymemes in Political Discourse

    Cameron Mozafari

    Chapter 3. Exploring Expert Appeals to Ethos with Statistical Corpus Analysis: Personal and Contextual Factors and Their Influence on Climate Scientists’ Use of Appeals to Expertise

    James Wynn

    Chapter 4. Stasis: Moving People to Action

    Davida Charney

    Chapter 5. Making Meaning out of Texts: An Approach through the Interpretive Stases

    Martin Camper

    Chapter 6. Using Examples to Misrepresent the World

    Michael Billig and Cristina Marinho


    Part II. Enduring Features of Persuasive Language

    Chapter 7. Sonic Rhetoric: The Persuasive Power of Spoken Language

    Gabrijela Kišiček

    Chapter 8. Humor

    Chris Holcomb and Heather Buzbee

    Chapter 9. Strategic Questioning

    Cornelia Ilie

    Chapter 10. Evaluating to Persuade in Statistical Framing: A Conceptual Tool for Rhetors and Audiences

    Daniel Libertz

    Chapter 11. A Framework for Understanding Polarizing Language

    William Donohue and Mark Hamilton


    Part III. Figures of Speech in Persuasion

    Chapter 12. The Tropes: Metaphor and its Friends

    Randy Allen Harris

    Chapter 13. The Rhetoric of Prosopopoeia: Persuading in Others’ Voices

    Bryan Blankfield

    Chapter 14. Phantasia, Enargeia, and Catachresis: Use and Abuse of Metaphors in Korean Political Discourse

    Mansup Heo

    Chapter 15. The Proleptic Suite

    Ashley Mehlenbacher

    Chapter 16. Litotes and Repetition: The Identification Engine in Classic Chinese Maxims

    Ying Yuan

    Part IV. Fields and Genres of Persuasion


    Chapter 17. The Languages of Science

    Alan Gross

    Chapter 18. Legal/Forensic Persuasion

    James Jasinski

    Chapter 19. Asian American Persuasion: The Subtleties of Speaking with Others’ Words

    Jennifer Lin LeMesurier

    Chapter 20. Interactivity in Genre Forms: Ceremonial and Legislative

    Government Apologies as Distinct Rhetorical Acts Toward Reconciliation

    Martha S. Cheng


    Chapter 21. Persuasion in Songs of Protest: Deliberation Through Metaphors and Music in South African Struggle Songs

    Sisanda Nkoala

    Chapter 22. Games, Language, and Persuasion

    Steve Wilcox

    Chapter 23. Multi-Genre Arguing in the Sciences: The Genetics of Longevity Controversy

    Jeanne Fahnestock

    Chapter 24. Propaganda

    John Oddo


    Part V. Roots of Persuasion

    Chapter 25. The Development of Persuasive Communication: Animals and the Evolved Mind

    Alex C. Parrish

    Chapter 26. Young Children’s Argumentative Contributions

    Sara Greco and Anne-Nelly Perret-Clermont

    Chapter 27. Persuasive Language Development: The Case of Irony and Humour in Children’s Language

    Penny M. Pexman

    Chapter 28. Grounding Cognition: Intersections of Rhetorical Theory and Cognitive Science

    Todd Oakley

    Part VI. Methods of Examining Persuasive Language

    Chapter 29. Computer-aided Close Reading: Visualizing Contrastive Persuasion Strategies

    David Kaufer and Suguru Ishizaki

    Chapter 30. Computer-based Analysis: Argument Mining

    John Lawrence and Jacky Visser




    Jeanne Fahnestock is a Professor Emeritus in the Department of English at the University of Maryland, USA.

    Randy Allen Harris is a Professor of English Language and Literature at the University of Waterloo, Canada.