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An interdisciplinary study of sub-discussions in children-adult argumentation
Thesis director Antonio Iannaccone
   
Abstract Studies on argumentative activities involving children are relatively recent, since interest in children's argumentation has been generally underestimated. In a recent project (ArgImp), some researchers acknowledged the emergence of sub-issues in children-adult argumentation. In the analysis of some argumentative discussions between children and their parents, it emerged that the discussants'
divergent implicit premises led to a sub-discussion: a misalignment within an already existing argumentative situation provoked the emergence of a new issue (sub-issue). This disclosure shall be worthy of further investigation, since it could enrich our knowledge about children’s way of reasoning and their active engagement in argumentation. Thus, the aim of the doctoral dissertation will be to
investigate sub-discussions in children-adult argumentative interactions. After realizing that children call into question adults’ argumentative starting points, this thesis aims to understand on what type of premises children open sub-issues, in what type of situations, in what type of argumentative loci, and why they do it. To try to answer these questions, both linguistic and psychological approaches to argumentation will be taken into account. Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, the researcher will start the investigation by conducting an argumentative analysis of already existing corpora containing children-adult argumentations. At a later moment, if it proves necessary, the researcher will proceed to integrate the data by creating a corpus ad hoc with argumentative discussions between preschooler children and adults while committed in joint activities (like playing, cooking, etc.).
   
Keywords sub-discussion; argumentation; children's argumentation
   
Type of project Dissertation project
Research area argumentation
Status Ongoing
Start of project 1-10-2019
End of project 30-9-2023
Contact Elisa Angiolini