Contrastive Rhetoric

Kaplan (1966)

The [...] illustration [above] graphically represents typical paragraph structures by speakers of several languages: extensive parallel constructions in the Semitic group, an "indirect" approach to the topic in the Oriental group, and frequent digressions in Romance and Slavic groups. This illustration was first introduced by R. B. Kaplan. Although it is now often criticized for being too simplistic and for assuming the English rhetorical model to be "straight" or "normal," Kaplan's theory is still extremely valuable because it points out the nature of those rhetorical differences which, although obvious to English native speakers, are often "felt" rather than understood.1

1Olga Ebert and William Hawk, The Center for Literacy Studies, The University of Tennessee, in cooperation with the Tennessee Department of Education, Adult & Community Education, July 8-10, 1998.