Volume 18, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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Irony is acknowledged to be usually critical: the ironic speaker tends to exhibit an apparent positive attitude in order to communicate a negative valuation. The reverse is considered to be also possible though: the ironic speaker can praise by apparent blaming, although it seldom happens. This unbalance between the two sorts of ironic examples is the so-called asymmetry issue of irony. Here I shall deny the possibility of being ironic without criticizing — hence the asymmetry issue is an illusion. By claiming that irony is always critical I suggest an even stronger claim: criticism is what distinguishes irony from the similar phenomenon of metaphor.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): criticism; implicature; irony; metaphor; non-literalness
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