4. Humor in verbal irony

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This chapter aims to show that irony in conversation may have a humorous effect as a result of the perception of the incompatibility or incongruity between two simultaneous ‘readings’ or interpretations, following current linguistic theories of verbal humor that submit that a humorous text is characterized by the simultaneous presence of two incongruent and incompatible readings. The discursive analysis of excerpts from seven spontaneous conversations shows empirically that the incongruity or incompatibility between what speakers say and what they really mean in instances of verbal irony can not only make the audience laugh but also can lead to other humorous turns or interrupt the conversation.


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