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Topoi

The term ‘topos' has its roots in Rhetoric.  It translates as a 'place' where arguments can be found.  However, 'topos' is also translated as a rule or procedure (van Eemeren et al. 1996: 38).  It is this latter translation that is used in CDA, where topoi are conceived of as content-related warrants which can be expressed as conditional 'conclusion rules' (Riesigl and Wodak 2001: 74).  In CDA, topoi are understood as standard 'argumentation schemes' which 'represent the common-sense reasoning typical for specific issues' (van Dijk 2000: 98).  In other words, they are arguments in which an implicit conclusion is presupposed by a premise (Reisigl and Wodak 2001; van Dijk 2000; Wodak 2001).   In argumentation strategies, predications can function as first premises in topoi which justify or warrent particular courses of action.