oa African Yearbook of Rhetoric - La construcción retórica de los primeros estudios históricos en la Argentina

Volume 4, Issue 2_3
  • ISSN : 2220-2188
  • E-ISSN: 2305-7785



Within the frame of our research on the history of scientific discourse in Argentina, at different stages of the 19th and 20th centuries, this work focuses on the beginning of the nineteenth century and deals with two related issues: the rhetorical selections that define the preferences of style of the incipient discourse of historiography in the Río de la Plata, and, at the same time, the characteristics of a discursive community that produces and communicates knowledge about this region, its territories and the new foundations. The study follows a qualitative perspective of analysis, and articulates the conceptual and analytical instruments of the Systemic-Functional Grammar of M. A. K Halliday (1994) with the Rhetoric of Science, according to the perspective of Alan Gross. The corpus comprises a selection of texts from the Telégrafo Mercantil, Rural, Político-Económico e Historiográfico del Río de la Plata (1801-1802) - the first journal published in these territories. In its pages, coexist popularization texts about history or geography, written by different functionaries of these Hispanic colonies, in possession of empirical knowledge about those territories, with articles written by intellectuals with specific studies on these subjects. Regarding the first of the issues mentioned above, the analysis permits the recognition of different features specific to the ideational rhetoric - technical terms, mechanisms of definition, designation and classification; as well as the identification of resources of the interpersonal rhetoric - metaphors, topics, citation of authorities and documents. This analysis shows - with respect to the second issue - the ways in which the resources of both rhetorics play an important role in the epistemic evaluation of the propositions and arguments constructed by the authors, and, at the same time, function to legitimate their authority, and the places they occupy in the constitution of an incipient discursive community in the domain of historiography.

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