The Routledge Handbook of Language and Persuasion  book cover
1st Edition

The Routledge Handbook of Language and Persuasion

ISBN 9780367423353
Published September 30, 2022 by Routledge
584 Pages 17 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

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.

Table of Contents


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



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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.