Research on rhetoric in Hungary

This paper is introduced by an attempt to clarify some misunderstandings surrounding rhetoric. Then, in its first part, it deals with the concept of rhetoric, including its broader and narrower interpretations. This is followed by a brief survey of six major trends of rhetoric in the twentieth century, concluded by the most recent developments: contrastive rhetoric, gender rhetoric, visual rhetoric, and studies in the history of rhetoric. Special attention is devoted to Chaim Perelman’s New Rhetoric, a reconsideration of argumentation theory, emphasising the difference between formal logic and (rhetorical) argumentation. In the second part, the paper discusses research on rhetoric in Hungary since 2000: recent publications are listed. The author considers it important to write a history of rhetoric in this country, the preparation of Hungarian translations of rhetorical studies written in Latin (this work is already under way), and reprint editions of the most important Hungarian treatises on rhetoric. At Eötvös Loránd University Budapest, annual conferences on rhetoric (with invited speakers) and orators’ contests have been organized since 1999, for Hungarian university and college students from within and outside Hungary. The materials of those events are published yearly in the series (in fact, periodical) called Old and New Rhetoric. It is laudable that doctoral students often write dissertations on topics in rhetoric. It is also laudable that an increasing number of scholars are involved in rhetoric, especially concentrating on its interdisciplinary character. It is mostly the latter aspects that the written versions of the round table talks are concerned with.

Keywords: the concept of rhetoric, New Rhetoric, argumentation, studies on rhetoric in this country, rhetorical analysis, topoi and mastertropes, history of rhetoric.

A. Jászó Anna
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

The timeliness of classical rhetoric

In this paper, the author reports on a large program spanning several decades: the translation of classic works on rhetoric into Hungarian and their publication with commentaries, notes, and introductions. The present author translated Aristotle’s and Cornificius’ works on rhetoric himself, and Cicero’s theoretical papers on rhetoric and Quintilian’s Institutio oratoria together with his disciples. Here he emphasises that knowledge of the whole of classical rhetoric may be a great help in evaluating and assessing twentieth-century trends in rhetoric and related scholarly fields.

Keywords: classical rhetoric, modern rhetoric, new rhetoric, history of rhetoric, translation, terminology, literary science.

Adamik Tamás
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

Old and new rhetoric and judicial oratory

The centre of gravity of ancient rhetoric was judicial, rather than political oratory (pan-judicial character). The close connection between legislation and jurisprudence can be summarised in an amazing analogy. Pleas and parliamentary speeches have a number of features in common: sharp polarisation, high-level representativity, a dialogical nature, and the conjunction of positive and negative argumentation. As is shown by the oeuvre of excellent orators (like Demosthenes and Cicero, Deák and Kossuth), judicial oratory is an almost necessary propaedeutic for political oratory. All this points towards the exploitability of new aspects, approaches, and solutions in present-day rhetoric education and generally in the rhetorical analysis of speeches.

Keywords: pan-judicial character, legislation, jurisprudence, plea, parliamentary oratory, analogy, shared features, propaedeutic.

Tremmel Flórián
Pécsi Tudományegyetem

Rhetorical Structure Theory in contrastive rhetorical analyses and translation research

The study describes the most significant theoretical and methodological features of Rhetorical Structure Theory (Mann–Thompson 1986, 1988) in order to demonstrate how this descriptive linguistic theory manages to capture the way texts “operate”. It also reveals how research conducted in the field over the past 30 years, involving various languages and text types/genres, has complemented the theory to enhance its descriptive adequacy. The second part of the paper highlights the findings of research involving the Hungarian language in particular and relating to the fields of contrastive rhetoric and translation studies specifically.

Keywords: Rhetorical Structure Theory, relational propositions, shifts of rhetorical structure, translation, contrastive rhetoric.

Károly Krisztina
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

With, without, or against one another?

On the relationship between modern pragmatics and classical rhetoric in the study of language use

The article addresses the issue of whether today’s pragmatics should dissociate itself from, collaborate with, or combine its theory and terminology with, the key insights of classical rhetoric. First, it is illustrated that pragmaticists tend to oversimplify or neglect the intellectual heritage of ancient rhetoric, which can lead to serious misconceptions. Second, approaches to the relationship between pragmatics and rhetoric, gathered from the pragmatics literature, are classified into three groups, and it is argued that there is no sharp borderline between the two fields, so the best alternative is to amalgamate them in the description and explanation of language use. Third, a brief investigation of some classic citations shows that Grice’s conversational maxims and the notion of implicature can be derived directly from the works of Aristotle and the great Roman rhetoricians.

Keywords: rhetoric, pragmatics, pragma-rhetoric, conversational maxims, implicature, presupposition, enthymeme, tropes, figures of speech, figures of thought.

Nemesi Attila László
Pázmány Péter Katolikus Egyetem

Rhetoric and communication research

The aim of this paper is to present the interdisciplinary situation of rhetoric, its antecedents and researchers, the achievements and challenges of the current international literature and that in Hungary. As a contribution to the talks presented at the round table on rhetoric, the present text gives an outlook on the interrelations between rhetoric and communication research, and on studies in communication research with a rhetorical foundation.

Keywords: diminishing rhetoric, renewal of rhetoric, complex rhetoric, communication research, rhetorical awareness.

Aczél Petra
Budapesti Corvinus Egyetem

Rhetoric and business communication

The present paper introduces the most typical form of business communication, including the main phases of business meetings. Among the many existing models, the author has chosen one that is the most widespread in this country, known as the eight-phase model. She describes that model by drawing a parallel between its phases and the well-known factors of classical rhetoric: the tasks of the orator and the main parts of an oratory. The aim of the paper is to draw the reader’s attention to the fact that it is worthwhile and useful to describe modern business communication in terms of our knowledge of ancient rhetoric.

Keywords: business communication, meeting, eight-phase meeting model, classical rhetoric, tasks of orator, structure of speech.

Raátz Judit
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem
Magyar Tudományos Akadémia Nyelvtudományi Intézete

Interrhetoric, e-rhetoric

In the techno-cultural world, an expansion of rhetorical phenomena can be observed: this can be summarily called interrhetoric (intertextual, intermedial, and intercultural rhetoric) or e-rhetoric (including SMS-rhetoric). New technologies result in new, complex communicative functions and rhetorical phenomena. At the same time, along the oral–written cline, a new communicative form of existence comes into being: secondary written communication or new spoken communication, whose rhetorical description is attempted and possible social and communicative consequences are discussed in this paper.

Keywords: interrhetoric, e-rhetoric, e-literacy, New Rhetoric.

Balázs Géza
Eötvös Loránd Tudományegyetem

Ratio et oratio

The ultimate function of speech in general, and especially that of rhetorical speech can be characterized as ethics, mercy, connecting people, paying attention, building confidence, creating harmony, and organizing democracy.

Keywords: ethics, mercy, confidence, attentiveness, harmony, democracy.

Bencze Lóránt
Magyar Nyelvstratégiai Intézet