Argumentation and meaning
This special issue aims to explore the semantic and pragmatic dimensions of meaning in terms of their significance and relevance in the study of argumentation. Accordingly, the contributors to the project, who have all presented their work during the 2nd Argumentation and Language conference, which took place in Lugano in February 2018, have been specifically instructed to produce papers which explicitly tackle the importance of the study of meaning for that of argumentative practices. All papers therefore cover at least one aspect of this complex relationship between argumentation and meaning, which contributes to delivering a state-of-the-art panorama on the issue. Drawing from computational linguistics, semantics, pragmatics and discourse analysis, the contributions to this special issue will illuminate how the study of meaning in its different forms may provide valuable insights for the study of people’s argumentative practices in different contexts, ranging from the political to the private sphere. This introductory discussion tackles specific aspects of the intricate relationship between pragmatic inference and argumentative inference – that is, between meaning and argumentation –, provides a brief survey of existing interfaces between the study of meaning and that of argumentation, and concludes with a presentation of the contributions to this special issue.