This article describes the argumentative steps in the halakhic give-and-take conversations in the Mishnah and Tosefta, which are two compilations written in Tannaitic language, the language that had been used in the first period of Mishnaic Hebrew. The argumentative steps in the conversations are examined, i.e., the connection between the arguments of the sages when they present their views in the conversations.
The analysis of argumentative steps in halakhic give-and-take conversations in the Mishnah and Tosefta is based on the model proposed by Muntigl and Turnbull (1998). This model has classified the four types of disagreement acts, which were found in naturally occurring conversations: counterclaim, contradiction, challenge and irrelevancy claim; and it also ranks the degree of aggressiveness of the acts. The study conducted by Blondheim and Blum-Kulka (2001) on a Talmudic text was also based on Muntigl and Turnbull's study.
The aim of this article is to try to assess the degree of aggressiveness of the halakhic give-and-take conversations in the Mishnah and Tosefta by means of an examination of the types of argumentative steps. The findings from these two compilations are compared to the findings of the two previous studies.