This paper aims to investigate some argumentative strategies adopted by linguists in the opening chapters of introductory textbooks in linguistics, i.e. general introductions for first year university students. It is argued that in introducing the student-reader to the foundations of the discipline, opening chapters build up a dialogue involving a plurality of voices, the expert-writer's, the student-reader’s, and those of past and present members of the scientific community, all of which contribute to the development of the argumentation.
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