ABSTRACT

The sections devoted to dissociation in The New Rhetoric identify many verbal forms that can express this reconceptualizing line of argument. This article reviews the linguistic options offered in English for epitomizing dissociations, including tautologies and constructions that prompt diverging meanings, orthographical devices like capitalization or subscripts that produce variants of a single word, word schemes like agnominatio and polyptoton that alter core forms, and affixes or modifiers that are either available as antonyms or require forcing apart by subsequent antitheses. Paying attention to the verbal expression of dissociations highlights cases that may or may not qualify as the rich reconceptualizations Perelman and Olbrechts-Tyteca had in mind. Arguments that involve three distinguished terms may, for example, reach a limit where dissociations merge into arguments from division, a long recognized device in traditional rhetoric/dialectic.

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