Introduction: Persuasion matters

Maria Ionela Neagu, Sky Marsen

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingForeword/postscript


What does it mean to be persuasive and in what ways is persuasion linked to information? Are we persuasive only when we communicate "information", and does being informative entail being persuasive? These seemingly innocuous questions have actually occupied much of philosophy since antiquity and have been considered from different disciplinary perspectives, including linguistics, literary theory and psychology. Rhetoric has convincingly shown, over millennia, that persuasion depends on the rhetorical context: it depends on the relationship between interlocutors, which includes matters of status, educational background and attitude, as well as on the purpose of the communication. One can persuade only if one makes use of signs that are in some way meaningful to the audience and can trigger an emotional and cognitive response. The information value of the utterance per se, detached from audience features, is insufficient for persuasive impact.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationInformation and Persuasion
Subtitle of host publicationStudies in Linguistics, Literature, Culture, and Discourse Analysis
EditorsDomnita Tomescu, Maria-Ionela Neagu
Place of PublicationFrankfurt am Main
PublisherPeter Lang International Academic Publishers
Number of pages11
ISBN (Electronic)9783631737439
ISBN (Print)9783631735909
Publication statusPublished - 2017


  • persuasion
  • information delivery
  • rhetoric
  • genre
  • language theorists


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