Panel proposal for CADAAD 2014: Persuasion in Public Discourse

Panel title:
Persuasion in Public Discourse: Functional and Cognitive Perspectives

Louis Wei-lun Lu (Masaryk University), Jana Pelclova (Masaryk University)

Description (outline, rationale and submission guidelines):
The proposed panel aims to investigate persuasion as a rhetorical phenomenon, from both functional and cognitive perspectives. We welcome papers based on authentic discourse data in the public sphere.
Present scholarship has identified various lexico-grammatical means of persuasion, such as modal verbs, adverbs, pronoun use, etc., and has also uncovered systematic conceptual strategies such as metaphor and metonymy. At the cognitive level, persuasion may also involve inserting personal voice to an intersubjective end, inducing an alternative worldview, and manipulating social actions. However, although persuasion has been extensively investigated as an interpersonal and cognitive phenomenon by researchers across disciplines, the above levels of analysis have so far been treated in a separate manner. In view of a potential synergy, the present panel aims to explore how persuasive effects can be investigated, based on functional and cognitive approaches to language. We are in particular interested in papers that explore how grammar and lexical choice creates persuasive effects and, meanwhile, how such choices co-contribute for the purpose of changing the audience’s mental states.
We are especially interested in discussions based on authentic data, with a special focus on public discourse for its hugely influential nature at various levels of human social life. By use of language, the participants of public discourse are able to air personal views, shape and reshape collective opinions and memories, as well as to achieve mutual judgments and decisions. Since its effects may come in a wide variety of forms with powerful social consequences, such as changes in a group’s collective behavior and consuming habits, increase in social awareness or depreciation of a political stance and societal problems, the compelling nature of persuasion in the public domain constitutes a highly practical concern and therefore deserves due scholarly attention. The possible text types that we are interested may range from the domain of politics, business, mass media to that of religion and academia.
Submissions of 250-350 word abstracts are welcome. Please include in your abstract: 3-5 keywords, type of data, methodology, expected outcome and possible contribution to the field, and a list of bibliography. Please send in a separate file containing your name, affiliation, contact details, and a brief bio-note. Submissions are due 31 October, 2013. Notification of acceptance will be sent 15 November, 2013. For inquiry or submission, contact either of the panel conveners: Louis Wei-lun Lu (weilunlu AT gmail DOT com) and Jana Pelclova (pelclova AT phil DOT muni DOT cz).
More information is available at: (main conference website)