August 14, 2004

"Schopenhauer's Debate Camp"

Responding to my posts of August 6 and August 9 on "rhetorical flypaper", Glen Whitman at Agoraphilia has some astute observations on rhetorical strategies in formal debate. Over the past few years, I've met several undergraduates who participate in such competitions, and it's occurred to me more than once that these events are an untapped resource for people interested in discourse and communicative interaction. In many cases, I believe that the participants would be happy to have the proceedings recorded and published as digital transcripts linked to digital audio (and video). There are several different kinds of debates, but each is a relatively stereotyped form of interaction, within which there is nevertheless a great deal of variation in content as well as in effectiveness. There is also an audience interested in any analytic results. So collecting, publishing and analyzing a "debate corpus" would be a good project for someone.

Posted by Mark Liberman at August 14, 2004 01:38 PM