Intentionality and irony

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The paper makes two central claims: the first is that irony a prototypical and perhaps exemplar category, there are some types of irony that are more “central” than others. The second claim is that irony is processed and produced largely subconsciously and that its meaning is indeterminate. Implications for the theory of irony and irony processing are examined. Furthermore, the existence of canned or idiomatic irony facilitates automatic/subconscious processing. This paper assumes a number of facts about irony, which are discussed at length elsewhere. I also assume, without further discussion, the model of irony I presented in Attardo (2000), which can be summarized as follows: an ironical situation is a sextuple (S, H, C, u, p, p’).


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