Abstract: Iron ore tailings dams were built to contain mining waste. After the rupture of the ore tailings dam in Brumadinho-MG, many multimodal discourses about the sustainability and use of tailings dams were supported by social criticism. The aim of this study is to analyze the role of multimodality in textual argumentation, from a socio-cognitive and interactional perspective, in order to understand the argumentation from a cognitive bias. For this, it is adopted from an expo-facto research, the theoretical bias of discursive intentionality in the line of Searle (1995); the character of mental models, social representations and sociocultural knowledge as predicted by Van Dijk (2012), Geeraerts’s (2016) socio-semiotic vision to understand how argumentation through the imagery field of cartoons is constructed and socially supported and dialogism in Meyer’s perspective (2008) from the argument. In this perspective, the text is thought of as a linguistic-discursive construction in which intentionality is related to mental models resulting from representations built from the subject’s experience in society and from interactional practices. In this context, the text contemplates a range of interconnected cognitive operations as directed by Marscuschi (2007). A corpus of cartoons published in the Brazilian media is constituted, oriented to the theme of sustainability and the rupture of tailings dams of iron ore for the analysis of the multimodal and discursive aspects. The conclusion highlights the use of multimodal resources in the argumentative orientation of the fear policy and social criticism.
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