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2.3 Models of Argumentation

It has been indicated before that argumentation is a broad topic in which different approaches play a role (See 2.1.2). Consequently, different models have been developed for analyzing argumentation in a way that serves the purposes of each approach.

However, only the models which can be utilized to serve the purposes of this study will be reviewed in a way that provides a clear idea about them and their shortcomings. Their shortcomings will be highlighted to justify the need for a more appropriate model that accords with the aims of the current work.

2.3.1 Van Eemeren and Grootendorst’s (1983) Ideal Model of a Critical Discussion

A critical discussion, as Van Eemeren et al. (1996: 280; 2002: 23) define it, “is an ideal of an argumentative discourse aimed at resolving a difference of opinion by determining whether the standpoints at issue ought to be accepted or not”. In other words, it is a rule-governed discussion in which the unsettled issue is a conflict of opinions over some particular proposition. One side is convinced by the truthfulness of that proposition, whereas the other is not (Walton, 1996: 23,


A critical discussion, in the pragma-dialectical model, proceeds through four stages, which are:


1- The confrontation stage: At which a participant in the discussion puts forward a standpoint while a second participant either doubts or contradicts it ( i.e. a difference of opinion appears in this stage).

2- The opening stage: Where participants decide to resolve the difference of opinion, so the roles of protagonist (that is, the one who supports the standpoint) and antagonist (that is, the one who opposes it) are assigned. In practice, this stage often remains implicit.

3- The argumentation stage: The protagonist defends her/his standpoint by putting forward arguments to counter the antagonist’s objections or doubts.

4- The concluding stage: Which shows the extent to which the difference of opinion has been resolved. It will be resolved in favour of the antagonist if the protagonist withdraws; if the antagonist abandons her/his beliefs or doubts, then it is resolved in favour of the protagonist (Van Eemeren et al., 1996: 281-2; Van Eemeren, 2001: 15; Van Eemeren et al., 2002: 25). [ For more details on each stage, see Van Eemeren and Grootendorst, 1983: 85-7]

As Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992b: 37) point out, the ideal model of a critical discussion only becomes practically meaningful if it is clear what speech acts, at the various stages, can contribute to the resolution of the difference of opinion. This can be more clarified with the help of Searle’s classification of speech acts.

It is well- known that Searle’s classification involves five classes:

assertives, directives, commissives, expressives, and declaratives. These speech acts are distributed, as Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (2006: 94-6) illustrate, on the four stages of a critical discussion as follows:


1- Assertives: In principle, all assertives can occur in a critical discussion because they can express the standpoint at issue, be part of the argumentation in defense of that standpoint, and be used to establish the conclusion. By so stating, Van Eemeren and Grootendorst agree with Downes (1998: 378) who points out that assertives are the means by which the speaker can say how things are and s/he can present the beliefs by this type of speech acts.

2- Directives: Not all directives can occur in a critical discussion; their role must consist of either challenging the party that has advanced a standpoint to defend it; or requesting argumentation to support it. A critical discussion does not contain directives such as orders and prohibitions. The party who has advanced the standpoint cannot be challenged to do anything other than providing argumentation for the standpoint – a challenge to fight, for instance, is out.

3- Commissives: These fulfill the following roles in a critical discussion:

a. Accepting or not accepting a standpoint.

b. Accepting or not accepting argumentation.

c. Accepting the challenge to defend a standpoint.

d. Deciding to start a discussion.

e. Agreeing to take on the role of protagonist or antagonist.

f. Agreeing to on the rules of discussion; and if relevant

g. Deciding to begin a new discussion.


4- Expressives: They play no part in a critical discussion. This is because of the fact that the purpose of an expressive is to express a feeling and by using this speech act the speaker creates no commitments which are directly relevant to the resolution of a dispute. In other words, speech acts that do not directly contribute to resolving a dispute – such as jokes and anecdotes – are not included in this model , although they may be among the psychological prerequisites for resolving the dispute because they help create the right atmosphere.

5- Declaratives: Declaratives, like expressives, make no real contribution to the resolution of a dispute. They depend on the authority of the speaker or writer in a certain institutional context. At best, they lead to a settlement and not to a resolution. This is why, ideally, there are no declaratives in a critical discussion.

However, there is one specific type of declaratives called ‘usage declaratives’ that can occur in a critical discussion. Usage declaratives – such as definitions an clarifications, which require no special institutional relationship – enhance the understanding of speech acts and thus can fulfill a useful role in a critical discussion. They can prevent unnecessary verbal disputes from arising or can prevent real disputes from terminating in spurious resolutions. [For more details on the distribution of speech acts in a critical discussion, see Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1983), Ch.5]

In addition to this ideal model, Van Eemeren (2001: 16) adds, the pragma- dialectical discussion procedures include also a number of rules (viz. ten rules) which together constitute a code of conduct for reasonable discussants.[See Van


Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992b: 208-9) for the complete enumeration of these rules]

After reviewing Van Eemeren and Grootendorst’s ideal model, it is time to state why this model is not adopted as it is by this study. Actually, Van Eemeren and Grootendorst (1992b: 35-6) and Van Eemeren et al. (1993: 34) criticize their own model as follows:

1- As the name of the model suggests (i.e. an ideal model), the ideal model is, to some extent, far away from real-life argumentative discourse. So, the discussion stages are seldom all passed through explicitly, let alone in the same order. Sometimes, one or more stages, or parts of them, remain implicit (as is the case with the opening stage).

2- In practice, argumentative discourse is not always properly analyzed if it is looked at as entirely aimed at resolving a dispute. In some cases (as in the novels under investigation) argumentative discourse is triggered by a state of incompatibility (such as insult, accusation, etc.) and thus argumentation takes place for settling the main point of incompatibility. To put it more clearly, ‘dispute’ seems a more technical word than ‘incompatibility’ if it is applied to the majority of real-life situations (of which the situations in the aforementioned novels are examples) (See 3.1.1.below).

3- Not all speech acts are employed in the ideal model. In practice, all kinds of speech acts can occur.

On the basis of these three points, what will be adopted from this model by this study is the terminology only, viz. the confrontation stage, the


argumentation stage, and the concluding stage. The opening stage has not been chosen on the basis of the ability to proceed arguing without explicitly passing through it. In addition, this has been done in order to avoid unnecessary stages and to make the model simpler.

2.3.2 Toulmin’s (2003) Phases of an Argument (5)

Toulmin (2003: 16) presents “ certain broad phases” for arguments in different sorts of law cases:

1- An initial stage: At which the charge or claim is clearly stated.

2- A subsequent phase: In which evidence is set out or testimony is given in support of the charge or claim; and

3- The final stage: At which a verdict is given, and the sentence or other judicial act issuing from the verdict is pronounced.

Toulmin puts forward these phases for the sake of proving the correctness of new concepts he proposes: field-invariance, and field-dependence.

The former refers, as Toulmin (ibid.: 15-6) explains, to those features of arguments which are expected to be the same regardless of the kind of law case (i.e. civil case, willful intent in a case of murder, etc.) to which they refer. The latter, on the other hand, refers to those features which differ depending on the kind of case at issue. This refers to the different types of evidence needed in

5 It has been indicated before that although argument and argumentation are two different terms, yet they are used interchangeably by almost all the scholars who deal with them (See 2.1.3 above). So, whenever the term argument occurs in this (and the following) page(s), it means argumentation in this study, but it is written ‘argument’ on the basis of its use by the scholar(s), as in the case with Toulmin (2003), the Benoits (2006), and Trapp (2006).


various kinds of cases (the evidence needed in a case of murder differs a lot from its counterpart in other kinds of cases).

Toulmin attempts to more clarify his idea of these concepts by making a comparison between the procedures of argument followed in a judicial process with those followed in a rational process. Accordingly, he has concluded that the phases (or stages as he, seemingly, uses the two terms interchangeably) through which a verdict is given (in law cases) or a conclusion is reached (in rational cases) are the same (namely, initial, subsequent, and final stages). He has also concluded that what is different in these cases is the type of evidence or support required to reach the verdict or conclusion.

As has been indicated before, Toulmin’s phases of an argument have been presented to prove the correctness of the notions of field-invariance, and field-independence. This has been done by selecting data from two different fields, both of which are far away from the kind of data in the novels under study. Thus, what will be adopted, here, is the number of phases (stages) only, viz. three stages.

2.3.3 Benoit and Benoit’s (2006) Strategies of Getting into and out of Arguments

In conversation, people operate within a framework that requires alignment among the publicly expressed beliefs and wants of the participants (Jacobs, 1986: 229). In other words, the cooperative aspect of people’s conversational activity is manifested in the preference for agreement in discourse. Once this alignment is threatened; people tend to use communication procedures to get that alignment back to track. One such set of procedures is argument. This


leads one to suggest, as Benoit and Benoit (2006: 56-7) do, that arguing is a disagreement-centered process; it involves the relationship of opposition among participants.

The questions which may come to one’s mind are: How do people turn from an activity of agreement to that of disagreement? Then, how do they get out of this disagreement activity?

Benoit and Benoit (ibid.: 61-70) answer these questions by proposing certain strategies of getting into and out of arguments (which in their view are the most common). In the following subsection, the strategies that drive people to get into arguments will be presented first; those of getting out of arguments will come later. Strategies of Getting into Arguments

The most common strategies of getting into arguments as presented by the Benoits (ibid.) are: Insult

An insult derogates a person and explicitly attacks the face of the other (one’s face in pragmatics, as Yule (2006: 119) explains, is one’s self-image: “ this is the emotional and social sense of self that every one has and expects everyone else to recognize”). Though people like others to value and respect them; an insult does just the opposite: it shows that a person’s social image is not observed, her/his qualities or disposition are treated with disrespect.


To illustrate, Benoit and Benoit (ibid.: 61) give the following example where a romantic couple is celebrating an anniversary but Brad gets into an argument by insulting Lisa:

(6) Brad: I don’t like your dress.

Lisa: Why not? (bitterly)

Brad: It makes you look like a clown.

Lisa: Go to hell! (See also situation (1), p. 93)

In this example, Lisa’s positive face (i.e. “the need to be accepted, even liked, by others, to be treated as a member of the same group, and to know that his or her wants are shared by others” (Yule, 1996: 62)), is violated as the insult is formed by Brad’s disrespect to Lisa’s appearance which is part of her identity. Accusation

Like insults, accusations are that kind of acts that attack the person’s face. An accusation finds error and assigns blame to the other’s behaviour. It calls for a justification of actions and such a confrontation is not a cooperative exchange.

Benoit and Benoit (ibid.: 62) give an example of partners tangle over the failure to be on time. Meg believes Greg made a commitment to pick her up and he failed to arrive at the appointed time:

(7) Meg: Do you know what time is it? It’s 11:15 and you said you would be here at 10:30.


Greg: I said I would come over as soon as possible. Don’t put me on a time schedule.

Meg: Why can’t I ever depend on you? Nothing’s changed. You are the same as always. (See also situation (6), p.96)

In this example, the accusation has taken the form of criticism. Meg criticizes Greg for being unpunctual and undependable. In defending his actions, Greg attacks Meg’s face by accusing her of putting him on a time schedule. Therefore, the negative faces (i.e. “the need to be independent, to have freedom of action, and not to be imposed on by others” (Yule, 1996: 61)) of both participants have been attacked because each wants to protect her/his own face regardless of the face of the other. Command

A command impedes the face wants of a person – like insults and accusations. It does so by directing the other’s behaviour as is perceived by the recipient as threatening personal freedom. This means that people do not expect others to impinge on their freedom to act and they do not want to be ordered to do things that they have no will of doing. If things go in contrary to what people expect, an argument is a very possible result (Benoit and Benoit, ibid.: 63).

The following example, given by Benoit and Benoit (ibid.), represents a situation which occurs between two roommates about a recurrent problem which takes place between roommates: cleaning the apartment:

(8) Joan: Clean up this mess.

Julie: When I’m good and ready.

Joan: You’re a pig. If I’d known …


Julie: And you’re a saint? (sarcastic) (See also situation (5), p. 95)

In this example, Julie’s negative face has been threatened, for Joan has definitely ignored Julie’s desire to be free to determine her own behaviour. This is done by Joan’s issuing a command to her roommate indicating that she (i.e. Joan) has a right to order her partner, the thing which is not true because in interpersonal relationships people expect themselves to be treated as equals. Refusal of a Request

It has been indicated before (See 2.3.3) that there is a preference for agreement in conversation. Because of this, on making a request people expect that others will fulfill the requests; if this is not done, i.e. in refusing to perform the request, the partner will hurt the other’s positive face by failing to show consideration for her/his wants, and this drives participants to get into argument (ibid.: 64).

The following example (Cited in ibid.) sheds light on such a situation. It occurs between two friends when a request to cook dinner is refused:

(9) Mark: Aren’t you going to cook dinner for me?

Sally: No.

Mark: But you said yesterday you would.

Sally: I changed my mind because I have too much to do.


Mark: (silence) (See also situation (45), p. 142)

In this example, Mark believes that his request will be accepted due to the promise which Sally has already made (that she would cook dinner for him). When she offers a reason for her refusal, Mark keeps silent (instead of accepting her reason) which is a clear indication of his disapproval to the reason given. This means that Mark’s positive face has been violated, as Sally’s refusal to fulfill that request fails to show consideration to his wants. Strategies of Getting out of Arguments

Being a disagreement-centered process, an argument attacks the face of the other participant(s) and as such it abandons the cooperative maintenance of face. Therefore, damage is done that may need to be repaired. However, there are two ways which arguers may choose to get out of arguments:

a. Terminating the interaction.

b. Re-establishing the norm of cooperation regarding face (ibid.: 65).











- When the issue is not important enough to exert the effort.

- The other participant is perceived as at fault.

- Avoiding the issue is easier than confronting it.

- The face attack has been serious enough to terminate the relationship.

- The relationship is not perceived as serious (ibid.).


On the other hand, interactants tend more to repair if:

- The relationship is serious.

- The blame is accepted or shared.

- There is a desire to reinstate understanding and trust.

- The face attack is perceived as having been trivial or easily resolved (ibid).

Benoit and Benoit (ibid.: 65-70) state four strategies of getting out of arguments: physical or psychological disengagement, agreement, apology, and restoring the relationship. Physical or Psychological Disengagement

It is well known that it takes at least two to argue. If one of the arguers chooses to disengage (whether physically or psychologically) her/himself from the argument, then that argument cannot continue. Choosing to disengage means refusing to continue arguing as well as refusing the smallest amount of cooperation required to continue a conversation (ibid.).

On one hand, physical disengagement distances the individuals for the sake of preventing further interaction at that time. It may involve leaving the place or hanging up the phone. Usually, the departure is abrupt and unexpected by the other (ibid.: 66).

Benoit and Benoit’s (ibid.) makes this idea clearer. In this example, roommates argue about skipping classes, Goldie gets out of the argument by leaving the room:

(10) Sheila: What time did you get up?

Goldie: 2:30 (Laughs)

Sheila: I don’t think that’s very funny.

Goldie: You’re not my mother.

Sheila: No, but I care.


Goldie: Your priorities aren’t necessarily mine.

Sheila: If you skip every class, how do you expect to pass?

Goldie: (leaves the room, slamming the door) (See also situation (11), p. 105)

In this example, although the physical disengagement, which is represented by Goldie’s leaving the room, prevents any further communication between the interactants at this time, yet it signals another attack on the partner’s (positive) face instead of reestablishing the cooperative norm concerning face; and this is typically the case with psychological disengagement.

Psychological disengagement, on the other hand, has the same effect ( that is, distancing the individuals so that no further interaction may happen though it does not involve the actual removal from the same environment). It is achieved by silence which, also, prevents further interaction since it takes two, at least, to converse (ibid.).

Another example is provided by Benoit and Benoit (ibid.) to show how psychological disengagement takes place. Argumentation in this example is between Joan and Renee, who are roommates, about the appropriate purpose of a gift:


(11) Joan: I didn’t give you that shirt to wear. I gave it to you to sleep in.

Renee: It’s my shirt now. I can wear it the way I want to. What’s the big deal anyway? Why does it matter when and where and even if I wear it?

Joan: (Silence) (See also situation (1), p. 93)

In this example, another attack on the partner’s (positive) face instead of reestablishing the norm of cooperation regarding face. It is performed by Joan’s keeping silent which prevents any further communication. This means that when people terminate the argumentation by one of these two strategies, they choose to abandon the cooperative maintenance of face. Agreement

Since disagreement is the stimulus for an argument (and without which an argument cannot continue because there is no point in arguing if there is a total agreement), then agreement is one of the very possible strategies of getting out of argument. Agreement indicates an acceptance of the other’s point of view. If that agreement is sincere, then the source of disagreement is eliminated (ibid.: 67).

In the following example, (Cited in ibid.), roommates argue about the importance of keeping the house clean:

(12) Bob: Hey, do you ever think of doing the dishes while you sit here watching television?

Mike: No, that is probably the last thing on my mind.


Bob: Well, Bill (the other roommate) and I have been talking. And we feel you haven’t been doing enough around the apartment for the last six weeks. Don’t you think you could at least clean up after yourself?

Mike: Yeah, I guess I could.

Bob: Well, we hope you do. (See also situation (5), p. 95)

Here, the roommates disagree over the priority of doing the dishes and other cleaning tasks, yet the argumentation ends when Mike (somewhat reluctantly) agrees to accept more responsibility for keeping the apartment clean. By showing agreement, Mike repairs the positive face of Bob through validating his position, indicating that his (i.e. Bob’s) ideas are to be respected. Apology

This is another strategy of getting out of arguments. Apology acknowledges fault, injury, or insult. It expresses regret and asks for forgiveness. It indicates that face attacks were wrong and that the arguers are willing to reestablish the norm of cooperation (ibid.: 68).

The following example shows how apology works when a friend is accused of putting down another friend, so the former apologizes to repair the injury to face (ibid.):

(13) Cori: Why do you constantly put me down?

Josh: I don’t put you down.

Cori: Then what would you call it?

Josh: I have no idea what you’re talking about.


Cori: You make me feel terrible. You make fun of the way I talk, the way I spell, who I go out with, my class, and my job. How would you feel if I did that to you?

Josh: I’m sorry. I didn’t know you took it so personally.

Cori: How was I supposed to take it?

Josh: I was only joking around when I said those things.

Cori: Well, after so many, I began to wonder.

Josh: I’m sorry. I won’t do it anymore. (See also situation (22), p. 120)

In this example, Josh’s apology for his mocking at Cori repairs the threat to the latter’s positive face, i.e. it indicates that the face attacks (originally made by Josh) were wrong and that Josh is willing to reestablish the norm of cooperation regarding face. Restoring the Relationship

This is another effective way people may choose to get out of argument. What is special about this strategy is that adopting it makes the issue being argued about seem trivial in comparison with the relationship between the arguers. Restoring the relationship attends to the partner’s face by emphasizing the values and wants of the other. Disagreement is a minor concern compared with the relationship between the arguers (ibid.: 68).

The following example, adopted from (ibid.), manifests how this strategy is employed:


(14) Vicky: I know I sail I’d pay you back on Friday but I also owe my mom some money. So I can’t.

Jean: I was counting on having that money on Friday. I’m tired of you working all over me.

Vicky: I didn’t realize I was doing that. I know you’ve really helped me out of some jams and I appreciate it. I’ll get the money to you. Still friends?

Jean: Of course.

In this example, two friends argue about money but their friendship is perceived as more important than the disagreement, so their argumentation is terminated by affirming their friendship.

Benoit and Benoit (ibid.) find it necessary to mention that some combination of the strategies is likely to be used to get out of argument. For instance, people may apologize and agree; or they may affirm the relationship and apologize for having caused disharmony.

As all the examples, introduced to clarify both the strategies of getting into and out of arguments, show, those strategies are adopted by interactants who are friends, roommates or romantic partners, i.e. they represent kinds that are not all found in the novels under study. This leads to doing two things:

1. Only the strategies that apply to the data under analysis will be chosen.

2. The strategies adopted will be liable to modification (which includes making some change to an already existing strategy; or adding some possible one) and this will be determined by the data of the work.


2.3.4 Trapp’s (2006) Model of Argument Episodes

Before embarking on explaining this model, it might be useful to show what is meant by an ‘argument episode’. Trapp (2006: 44) defines an argument episode as “a communication event that occurs at a definite moment in time and has a clear beginning and end”. He, then, distinguishes it from another type of argument which he calls a ‘serial argument’. A serial argument occurs and recurs at several times. It is characterized by two things:

a. it contains many argument episodes; and

b. it has no clear ending , and its beginning is difficult to identify.

Trapp’s model of argument episodes can be illustrated as follows:

An argument is triggered by the perception of incompatibility. The episode is initiated by one participant deciding to confront the other, inventing and editing argument strategies, and arguing. The point of argument is to resolve the point of incompatibility. Accordingly, different consequences can occur. They range from conflict escalation or de-escalation, to conflict resolution, to self concept damage or improvement, to relational improvement or dissolution, and/or to physical violence ( ibid.).

Incompatibility (the sine qua non of an argument episode) has different sources: attitudes, values, and behaviours. The perception of incompatibility is a necessary but insufficient motivation for an argument to occur. There are many sources of incompatibility that are understood as such by many individuals, yet they are not serious enough to stimulate an argument. It is only when the perceived incompatibility is of a sufficient magnitude that participants are motivated to embark on the process of arguing (ibid.: 46).


In his model, Trapp (ibid.: 46-9) suggests three sub-processes of the main process of argument:

1. Deciding to confront the other.

2. Planning argument strategies; and

3. Arguing.

The first of these sub-processes begins after perceiving a source incompatibility of sufficient magnitude. In this sub-process, arguers must make up their minds as to whether or not to confront their partners. On the basis of what they choose, the decision can be either negative or positive. It is negative when the arguer opts for avoiding to get into argument (and this usually happens if the cost confrontation appears to outweigh the cost of continued incompatibility). The decision becomes positive if the arguer chooses to confront; and this will lead to the second sub-process of argument, that is, planning argument strategies (ibid.:


When deciding to confront each other, arguers do not argue haphazardly about anything that comes up to their minds; rather, they have to develop the content of the arguments. This means that they must invent and edit the arguments and strategies they think to be the most effective and appropriate. The process of inventing and editing is unconscious and mindless because people can develop their arguments and strategies without conscious reflection. Having selected arguments and argumentative strategies, arguers are ready to proceed to the final sub-process of an argument episode: arguing (ibid.: 47).

Arguing occurs when disagreement is actualized, that is to say, when the viewpoints of two or more persons are mutually incompatible. As such


disagreement is a generic characteristic of argument (Trapp, 1992b: 187). This does not mean that intentional disagreement is the only stimulant for arguing, Kopperschmidt (1986: 183) and Trapp ( 2006: 48) add two other ‘stimulants’:

a. When people have no power on others, they are forced to argue in order to achieve their ends.

b. When the interactants are unable to resolve the points of incompatibility without resorting to arguing, then they are also obliged to engage in it .

There is one important thing which must be available in the sub-process of arguing so that it can be described as productive: people should possess the skills needed to resolve incompatibilities with other partners. Trapp (ibid.) summarizes these skills in what he calls the ‘argumentative competence’.

Argumentative competence is a term initiated by Trapp et al. (1986) in

a published article entitled “ Measuring Argumentative Competence”. Their main

aim, then, is to “ develop a scale for the measurement of argumentative competence in young adults” (Trapp et al., 1986: 253). Later on, Trapp (2006) expresses more clearly what is conceived of by that term.

Trapp (ibid: 48) indicates that argumentative competence encompasses two elements: effectiveness, and appropriateness.

Effective arguers, as Trapp (ibid.) describes them, are those who “ …make clear connections,… are logical, provide support for arguments, and explain things clearly”.

Appropriateness, on the other hand, requires arguers to avoid being

“ obnoxious, arrogant and overbearing; insulting or poking fun at others; belittling opponents; trying to prevent others from expressing their points of view, and


directing arguments against the other person rather than the person’s position” (ibid.). If appropriateness has not been kept to, then the process of arguing will escalate to what is called ‘verbal aggression’. By verbal aggression is meant “ the inclination to attack the self-concepts of individuals instead of, or in addition to, their positions on particular issues” (Infante, 1988: 7; cited in ibid.). The most common features of verbal aggression include: character attacks, competence attacks, personal appearance attacks, insulting, teasing, ridicule, profanity, and threats (ibid.: 21; cited in ibid.: 49).

This last sub-process of arguing leads to the different consequences mentioned earlier (See 2.3.4 above). The consequences of an argument can be either positive or negative depending on the kind of consequence with which an argument ends (ibid.: 49-51).

Trapp (ibid.: 44) reveals a very important thing about his model. He states that in developing that model he has struggled with the “ trade-off between accuracy and simplicity. When accuracy is the goal, models become less simple; but when simplicity is reached accuracy is sacrificed”. The inaccuracy of his model, as viewed by the current work, manifests itself in two respects:

a. Overgeneralization: His sources of incompatibility are very general, that is, he has not specified what kind of incompatibility drives people to engage in argumentation, he has found it enough to say that the sources of incompatibility are: attitudes, values, and behaviours. The same thing applies to his consequences (which resemble to a great extent, in their content, those proposed by the Benoits, but with different terminology) in that he does not indicate what strategies represent conflict (de)escalation, self-damage, etc.


b. Contradiction: This demonstrates itself in the second sub-process of argument, viz. planning argument strategies, and more accurately in what he calls ‘mindless or unconscious’ argument inventing and editing. Regardless of the fact that Trapp has mentioned nothing about what argument inventing and editing means; by making his claim that they are mindless and unconscious, he disagrees with Hample (2005: 61) who asserts that “ invention is a cognitive process, even when it is also interactive”. Hample sounds more accurate due to the major idea that people do not argue randomly and thus they do not say every thing that comes up to them on the spur of the moment. If inventing an argument is mindless, then people can say whatever they want, the thing which Trapp himself contradicts as he states that people should choose the arguments and strategies that are most effective and appropriate to the situation. [For more details about inventing arguments, see Hample, 2005: Ch. 3]

As far as editing arguments is concerned, Hample (ibid.: 85-7) illustrates clearly how that editing works. He does so by giving the following example where two women (R2 and R3) are collaborating on a note for the same dry cleaning request in which R2 is reading it, apparently deciding how to close it:

(15) R2: ((rapidly)) Dear Neighbor. I remember that you have some shopping today. If I leave this suit with you, could you drop it off at the cleaners? I will leave a message with the cleaner saying that I need the suit by five. ((ends reading)) What else do we need to say! I can’t do it by myself! I appreciate the effort I’ll bake you cookies – No! ((laughs, shakes pen, pauses)) walk your dog

R3: ((without a break)) and I can drive your daughter you know uh uh to piano class anytime.


R2: Okay ((laughs, then begins writing)). Okay. I can drive your daughter to piano class? anytime in return for the favour.

The process of editing, which obviously can in no way be unconscious or mindless as Trapp (ibid.: 47) thinks, is shown in R2’s thinking of a counter favour for her neighbour. She first thinks of baking some cookies but gives up the idea soon. Then, she thinks of walking her ( i.e. the neighbour’s) dog, the thing which has been given up by means of the offer made by R3 of giving a ride to piano classes for the target’s daughter. This offer has been immediately accepted by R2 and thus she adds it to the note. [ For more details about editing arguments, see Hample (ibid.: Ch. 4)].

On the basis of these two points, what will be adopted from Trapp’s model, in the model intended to be developed by the current study, is only the notion of argumentative competence.