PublisherThe University of Arizona.
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AbstractThe enthymeme traditionally has been examined only as individual oral and written texts. Most scholarship looks at examples abstracted from their sociocultural context. In order to arrive at a more complete and organic understanding of the enthymeme, I explore the intertextual processes by which written and oral enthymemes evolve into new enthymemes for new written and oral texts. In their processes of making meaning, readers use texts to develop new enthymemes, and in the enthymemes' ever-evolving nature readers draw on social assumptions from other texts. In this dissertation I consider the enthymematic nature of intertextual processes to arrive at a broader understanding of the social construction of discursive structures. By applying social construction theory to the intertextual enthymeme, I focus on six contexts in which enythmemes are seen as discursive structures inscribing consensus because the elided assumptions of enthymemes are satisfied by the intertextual network of experiences and correltation shared by readers, writers, speakers and hearers.