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The problematics of private and universal audience: considerations on argumentation

Grant number: 16/17438-7
Support type:Scholarships in Brazil - Master
Effective date (Start): March 01, 2017
Effective date (End): February 28, 2019
Field of knowledge:Linguistics, Literature and Arts - Linguistics
Cooperation agreement: Coordination of Improvement of Higher Education Personnel (CAPES)
Principal researcher:Maria Flávia de Figueiredo Pereira
Grantee:Alan Ribeiro Radi
Home Institution: Pró-Reitoria Adjunta de Pesquisa e Pós-Graduação. Universidade de Franca (UNIFRAN). Franca , SP, Brazil


From the point of view of rhetorical-argumentative studies, the audience is of great importance due to the fact that it plays an active role in decision making as regards to argumentation. Since the systematization of rhetorical theory, by Aristotle, the more adequate choices made by the speaker in order to raise the confidence of his audience have been analyzed and studied. Traditionally, the audiences are classified as universal and particular. But this division is conflicting between the theoreticians and does not respond to our reality, a factor that causes difficulty of understanding of this important argumentative instance. It must be noted that the idea of audience suffered numerous changes throughout history. Among the factors that triggered these changes, we find the scope that the speeches began to achieve in terms of media and information technology. Thus, with our research, we aim at performing a reflection that allows us to understand the audience instance based on current communicative purposes and, therefore, to enable new possibilities for understanding and studying this concept. To support us in our research, we will consider the main authors based in the Aristotelian theory, which, in a straight line, deal with the concept of audience. In order to aid the theoretical reflection, we will examine a corpus that can unveil the behavior of distinct audiences through gay and homophobic speeches. This corpus will be composed by six texts that lead us to reflect about the distinct postures assumed by the speaker in front of his/her audience. We believe that the analysis results, of qualitative and comparative nature, will help us to consistently understand and describe the instance of the audience according to its present-day formulation. (AU)

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