Edited by Frans H. van Eemeren
[Journal of Argumentation in Context 10:1] 2021
► pp. 46–72
This study is a contribution to the recently introduced notion of argumentative style (van Eemeren 2019) in the framework of the pragma-dialectical approach. It aims at characterizing a detached argumentative style, by focusing on a speech event pertaining to the communicative activity type organizational discourse, a report on EU environment and climate change policies. The analysis concerns the executive summary and the key findings of the report, reconstructed in the analysis as the concluding stage of the critical discussion corresponding to the pragma-dialectical model. The notion of text type (Adam 1992) used in the analysis has allowed a more fine-grained characterization of the detached argumentative style, especially since the communicative practice under analysis displays a specific discourse format and structure for reasons of conventionalization and institutionalization. In such circumstances, determined by the type of conventionalization imposed by the context, the adoption of a detached argumentative style appears to be a pre-requisite. In the concluding stage of a critical discussion the difference of opinion is not restated, while the most significant standpoints are synthetically (re)presented by an adequate balance of narrative, descriptive and metadiscursive text strategies meant to support the objectivity, the conciseness of the presentation and also ensuring the necessary density of information required in a report summary or the presentation of key findings, respectively. While explicit negative evaluations or formulations of standpoints are avoided, the recommendations are presented as open to adoption or reconsideration by policymakers.