Logical Assumptions in Contemporary Discourse Analysis

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Abstract

Scholars from anthropology, sociology, philosophy, and linguistics, as well as other academic disciplines approach the questions of discourse analysis. While there is wide variability in these approaches, most agree that internal coherence is one of the most important features of discourse and that some variety of the propositional calculus is the most appropriate means for accounting for that coherence. I present data that suggests that propositional reasoning varies with culture and thus it is a poor candidate for the basis of a universal discourse structure. On the other hand, syllogistic structures seem relatively consistent across language and culture boundaries and therefore indicate that such a universal structure is possible.

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