Vol. 21:3 (2011) ► pp.473–490
Use and abuse of the strategic function of in fact and frankly when qualifying a standpoint
This paper seeks to specify the strategic function of adverbs like in fact and frankly when used to qualify the utterance that functions as a standpoint in an argumentative discussion. The aim is to provide a description of their strategic function that takes into consideration the role that the move of advancing a standpoint plays in argumentative discourse. To this direction, the choice of qualifying is explained as a choice that the arguer makes in his attempt to manage the burden of proof that is incurred when advancing a standpoint. By combining the insights from the pragma-linguistic treatment of these adverbs with the theoretical premises of a systematic approach to the analysis of argumentative discourse it becomes possible to specify their strategic function and to evaluate those cases in which this strategic function has been abused to the detriment of the quality of argumentative discourse.