The International Linguistic Association 59th Annual Conference
22-24 May 2014
Paris, France, Université de Paris II, Panthéon-Assas
Conference theme: The Linguistics of Rhetoric and Debate
In 1943, a group of linguists at colleges and universities in the New York area, including many members
of the École Libre des Hautes Études in exile, came together to form the Linguistic Circle of New York.
The model for the new organization was the Société de Linguistique de Paris. Among the first members were
Henri F. Muller, Giuliano Bonfante, and Roman Jakobson. In recognition of the French roots of the
International Linguistic Association, the Conference was held on May 22 - 24, 2014 at the Université de
Paris II, Panthéon-Assas, in Paris, France.
Rhetoric has developed as a discursive discipline whose primary purpose is one of persuading the hearer
to adopt the speaker's point of view. The debate uses rhetorical discourse to present opposing arguments
to an audience, until the audience, or members of it, adopts one side or the other as the more reasonable
argument. Linguistic studies have sought to analyze the structure of discourse in order to find syntactic,
semantic and pragmatic patterns that make rhetorical texts effective in changing the audience's mind.
The organizers of the ILA's 59th Annual Conference solicited papers on linguistic approaches to the study
of rhetoric and debate, with the intention of encouraging renewed interest in the subject at a time when
debate is conducted in greatly expanded arenas and in new communicative conditions. The languages of the
Conference were English and French with plenary talks in English.