Relevance theory and contextual sources-centred analysis of irony

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In this paper, several claims compatible with the relevance-theoretic view of irony comprehension are proposed, beyond the essential requirement of the identification of the speaker’s dissociative attitude and the location of a source of the echo. Firstly, a view of context accessibility in terms of “contextual sources” is described. Secondly, it will be argued that the variability of processing speed and mental effort involved in irony comprehension depend on the kind of activation of these sources during irony comprehension. Finally, a proposal of how ironical intention is spotted is provided, this time by applying a type of metarepresentation to the overall interpretive procedure for ironies: the one detecting inconsistencies in utterances and in the speaker’s intentions.


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