Publication details [#59397]

Mazzi, Davide. 2014. “Our reading would lead to…”: Corpus perspectives on pragmatic argumentation in US Supreme Court judgments. Journal of Argumentation in Context 3 (2) : 103–125.
Publication type
Article in journal
Publication language
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins
Journal DOI


Of the various subtypes of causal argumentation, one that has been sparking the interest of a large number of scholars across various contexts is pragmatic argumentation. This paper aims at undertaking an exploratory study of discursive indicators of pragmatic argumentation in a synchronic corpus of judgments by the Supreme Court of the United States of America. The study began with a qualitative overview to be followed by a more quantitative investigation, in which discursive indicators of pragmatic argumentation were lemmatized and searched for at a corpus level. Data show both the tendency of lemmas to occur within larger patterns, and the way these are correlated with an outline of both desirable and undesirable consequences the judge may draw the attention to. Findings thus appear to offer food for thought in the three largely interrelated areas of argumentation, discourse studies and legal theory.