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... Within the framework of relevance theory irony has been described as an echoic mention (Sperber and Wilson, 1981;Wilson and Sperber, 1992), or as a non-attributive meta-representation (Wilson, 2012). Utterances are considered as representations in as much as they have "a propositional form which is true of some actual or conceivable state of affairs" (Sperber and Wilson, 1986: 227). ...
... Non-attributive meta-representations include echoic mentions, which, in addition to the attribution, convey the speakers' attitude, be it agreement or disagreement, support or challenge (ibid.: 249; for cases of agreement and disagreement through resemblance, see Weizman and Kohn, forthcoming). A typical case of non-attributive meta-representation is that of ironic mentions which echo a prior saying, thought, belief or interpretation and necessarily convey criticism towards the first-order representation (Sperber and Wilson, 1981;Wilson and Sperber, 1992;Wilson, 2012). ...
... The interpretation of ironic speaker's meaning is a complex procedure. I have already mentioned that it requires the identification of cues for indirectness, i.e. the identification of a reason to believe that the speaker has intended to convey a meaning which diverges from the utterance meaning,3 and that this meaning conveys dissociation, derogatory judgment or criticism (Aristotle, 1960;Grice, 1975Grice, , 1978Sperber and Wilson, 1981 among other. For a discussion, see Weizman, 2008). ...
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This paper sets up to show how irony and reservations are explicitated in online media discourse, comparing their realizations in French and Hebrew online op-eds in leading journals. A corpus-based qualitative and quantitative analysis relies on two sets of big corpora for each language. The pragmatic analysis distinguishes between explicitating self- and other’s presumed ironic intents, the target of irony, its locus and overall speaker’s meanings. The findings indicate that the French data-set uses the verb ironiser, which has no comparable equivalent in Hebrew. More puzzling are the similarities between the two data-sets: both in French and in Hebrew journalists choose to explicitate irony and reservations, and they do so using similar discursive patterns. Conflicting forces are at play: interpretation paths are opened by irony, and are then narrowed down by the journalist’s interpretations. The results are interpreted in terms of informativeness, accountability and commitment to speaker’s meaning.
... Alteration in social communication has been reported in several disorders, for example: the Social Communication Disorder and the Autism Spectrum Disorder (American Psychiatric Association, 2013). One of the most difficult communication forms to understand is irony (Wilson and Sperber, 1981), therefore it has been proposed that it can be a useful indicator of pragmatic abilities (Caillies et al., 2014). Irony plays different roles during communication; it serves to indirectly convey feelings (Shamay-Tsoory et al., 2005), express courtesy, emotion, or humor, and enhance criticism (Milanowicz, 2013). ...
... differences in context or statement length, ironic statements required longer reading time, for both context and statements, compared to literal statements. Together, these results could reflect a significant difficulty in detecting ironic statements, which agrees with the proposal that ironic statements are one of the most complex pragmatic forms to interpret (Wilson and Sperber, 1981). ...
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An ironic statement transmits the opposite meaning to its literal counterpart and is one of the most complex communicative acts. Thus, it has been proposed to be a good indicator of social communication ability. Prosody and facial expression are two crucial paralinguistic cues that can facilitate the understanding of ironic statements. The primary aim of this study was to create and evaluate a task of irony identification that could be used in neuroimaging studies. We independently evaluated three cues, contextual discrepancy, prosody and facial expression, and selected the best cue that would lead participants in fMRI studies to identify a stimulus as ironic in a reliable way. This process included the design, selection, and comparison of the three cues, all of which have been previously associated with irony detection. The secondary aim was to correlate irony comprehension with specific cognitive functions. Results showed that psycholinguistic properties could differentiate irony from other communicative acts. The contextual discrepancy, prosody, and facial expression were relevant cues that helped detect ironic statements; with contextual discrepancy being the cue that produced the highest classification accuracy and classification time. This task can be used successfully to test irony comprehension in Spanish speakers using the cue of interest. The correlation of irony comprehension with cognitive functions did not yield consistent results. A more heterogeneous sample of participants and a broader battery of tests may be needed to find reliable cognitive correlates of irony comprehension.
... However, irony also demands awareness of a distance in interpretation and evaluation (cf. Livnat 2004;Curcó 2000;Sperber-Wilson 1981 and1989) that separates the speaker's perspective from the perspective associated with the linguistic construction s/he is employing with regard to the object of conceptualisation (cf. Kotthoff 2002). ...
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The paper explores correlations between irony and sense of humour (HQ). Its questions are informed by functional cognitive pragmatics, with irony considered an emergent way of exploiting reflexivity (the metapragmatic awareness of discourse participants) as an essential feature of linguistic cognition. Accordingly, the research focuses on the folk category of irony, i.e. those utterances are treated as ironic, which informants so judged. The initial hypothesis of the research was that HQ was in positive correlation with both the production and the interpretation of irony. Our study followed a two-step procedure: two consecutive questionnaire studies measured the correlation between HQ and the production and interpretation of irony. HQ was measured with the Humor Styles Questionnaire, whereas 15 visual stimuli elicited the production and recognition of irony. 397 subjects participated in the study. Performing statistical analysis, we found that participants judged utterances produced by above-average HQ significantly more ironic than those produced by average or below-average HQ. However, there was no significant difference between the below-average and above-average HQ groups in most cases about the interpretation of utterances. At the same time, utterances that contain an appropriate instance of irony were judged significantly more ironic by informants with higher HQ than by informants with low HQ.
... Tacitly-attributive meta-representations include echoic mentions (Sperber and Wilson, 1981;Wilson and Sperber, 1992), in which an extra layer of meta-representation is added to the content, "since not only the attribution but also the speakers' attitude must be represented" (Wilson, 2012, p. 249). In this view, an essential and necessary cue (Weizman and Dascal, 1991) for the interpretation of irony is the identification of an echoic mention. ...
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I analyze Israel president Rivlin's 2020 speech delivered against the background of ongoing COVID-19 health threats and a severe political crisis, and its follow-ups in online news articles and in ordinary readers' comments on news sites and on Facebook. I examine the recontextualization practices used in this three-part discourse event, shedding light on their diversity and focusing on the degree of directness they manifest. Recontextualization is conceptualized as the strategic molding of situations and prior texts and their integration into another discourse through discursive practices. The analysis shows that the president recontextualizes the complex political and social crisis through the lens of the COVID-19 pandemic. He frames the pandemic in terms of its morbid, mythic, and moral dimensions, as well as its influence on various aspects of civil and political disorder. This connection is drawn through the juxtaposition of propositions and the shifts between the deliberative and the epidictic keyings, alluding to Jewish tradition, prayers, and blessings. Through the use of the inclusive “we,” he self-positions as a leader on a par with ordinary people, whereas through direct demands formulated in the plural without personal naming he addresses his ratified addressees, the MPs and the ministers, and thus self-positions as an authority demanding accountability from the current leadership. The news articles in leading online media are short and partial, recontextualizing the speech and the situation through their titles, the selection of the extracts they chose to present and the very few evaluations they make. They mostly take up the president's moral framing and some of his explicit demands for political accountability. The commenters mostly follow up on the moral framing and the mythic dimensions proposed by the president but offer a different perspective on these issues. They shift the responsibility for “losing the compass” from the collective “we” advocated by the president to the politicians including the president, and they ironically echo the epidictic keying in order to challenge and even ridicule it. They further add another dimension to the speech event, by framing the president's speech as politically biased. The discursive patterns used all along this thread of discourses by all its participants range in degree of directness and recontextualize the object of talk, perspectives, keying and positionings.
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Stemming from the use-mention distinction by the philosophy of language, Relevance Theory introduces the notion of echo in the context of the echoic mention theory of irony (cf. Wilson & Sperber, 2012). Since then, echoing has awakened multidisciplinary interest, mostly in connection to this figure of thought. Studies on echoing have provided a largely one-dimensional approach. Within cognitive modeling studies, echoing is elevated to the status of cognitive operation. Taking cognitive modeling as a starting point, the aim of the present article is to study echoing from a multidimensional perspective, focusing on its features, functions, and usages. Specifically, the present study addresses echoic implicitness, completeness, complexity, accuracy, and non-ironic echoes (i.e., parodic echoes, denotational and non-denotational echoes). All in all, this study introduces a higher degree of systematicity in the study of echoing in general and endows echo-based studies of irony with greater explanatory adequacy.
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Ironic language is a salient reminder that speakers of all languages do not always mean what they say. While ironic language has captured the attention of theorists and scholars for centuries, it is only since the 1980s that psycholinguistic methods have been employed to investigate how readers and hearers detect, process, and comprehend ironic language. This Element reviews the foundational definitions, theories, and psycholinguistic models of ironic language, covering key questions such as the distinction between literal and ironic meaning, the role of contextual information during irony processing, and the cognitive mechanisms involved. These key questions continue to motivate new studies and methodological innovations, providing ample opportunity for future researchers who wish to continue exploring how ironic language is processed and understood.
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Наукову розвідку присвячено дослідженню лінгвістичної специфіки та статусу іронії, виявленню її онтологічних ознак, особливостей породження та інтерпретації іронічного смислу з точки зору риторико-стилістичного, структурно-семантичного, прагматичного й когнітивного підходів. Структурно-семантичний напрям розглядає іронію в межах значення окремої лексичної одиниці чи в межах структури окремого речення з опорою на об’єктивні словникові дефініції чи асоціативний комплекс, який структурується стереотипним знанням. Прагматична теорія, незважаючи на концептуально новий рівень інтерпретації іронії, є спадкоємницею теорії структурно-семантичної. Іронія з прагматичної точки зору розглядається на рівні висловлення у безпосередній співвіднесеності із ситуацією спілкування. В межах когнітивної парадигми іронія розглядається як елемент концептуальної системи людини. Когнітивний погляд на іронію дає можливість розв’язати питання, які залишалися поза увагою попередніми лінгвістичними теоріями, розглянути глибинні механізми розуміння іронії на рівні дискурсу у сукупності всіх прагматичних, соціокультурних та психологічних характеристик. Доведено, що, незважаючи на фундаментальні відмінності, які лежать в основі риторико-стилістичного, структурно-семантичного, прагматичного і когнітивного підходів, їх не можна вважати концептуальними антиподами. Кожний з цих напрямів, використовуючи свій науковий інструментарій і комплекс методів, відкриває певну грань іронії, залишаючи поза увагою інші її аспекти. При цьому наголошено, що вся різноманітність розглянутих теорій під належним кутом може сформувати всеосяжну та ефективну модель розуміння іронії. Зіставлення та критичний аналіз риторико-стилістичного, структурно-семантичного, прагматичного та когнітивного підходів дозволив виявити те спільне, що всіх їх об’єднує, а саме трактування іронії як єдиного феномену з двома формами прояву: ідеальною (елемент світосприйняття) та матеріальною (елемент мови). Спільним є розуміння основної ознаки іронії – наявності вираженого та прихованого смислів, пов’язаних відношеннями протилежності чи заперечення та у виокремленні її базової функції – вираження суб’єктивного емоційно забарвленого відношення до дійсності.
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This paper studies dialogicity in posts and their comments. Focusing on political slogans in the Facebook page of Israel PM Binyamin Netanyahu, we examine the ways comments meta-represent the posts in various degrees of resemblance. Starting with the premise that comments/post interactions are dialogic in the Bakhtinian sense, we argue that comments are dialogic in yet another way, which is related to the form and degree of resemblance between them. The conceptualization draws on the notion of meta-representation supplemented by insights gained from accommodation theory and Bakhtin’s dialogism. We argue that through resemblance, the propositional content, ideology and viewpoint conveyed by the initiating slogan are incorporated in the comment, and a tacit dialogue is constructed between them. An additional layer of polyphony is added to the multiplicity of ratified voices otherwise manifest in the interaction between separate posts and comments.
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