Argument Structure in Arabic and English: Re-assessing Purity and Redeeming Hybridity

Faisal Said Al-Maamari


This study presents a contrastive rhetorical analysis of 20 argumentative Arabic and English editorials in argument structure. Samples were selected from two daily newspapers with equally wide distribution, and articles were written by their respective native writers. Both graphical and textual analyses captured the argument structure in terms of macro and micro arguments. A core finding is that the argument structure in the sampled editorials did not conform to the current predominant model of argument structure, which tended to polarize argument structure in terms of through or counter argumentation. The study contributes to the existing literature by defying the polarized traditional purity typology of argument structure frequently cited in the literature, and emphasizes a more dynamic hybrid model to understanding and analyzing arguments in general and in Arabic and English specifically. Additionally, the study of the professional genre of editorails has implications for academic writing and second language writing pedagogy by sensitizing foreign language learners to existing models of argument structure and possible ways to structure their arguments in the target language.



Arabic, argument structure, contrastive rhetoric, editorials, English, newspaper genres

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