Volume 21, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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Although the topic has been extensively studied, many issues about understanding of indirect requests in children are still unsolved. Our contribution is to distinguish genuine and ironic hints, focusing on the latter. We examined the understanding of ironic hints and ironic imperatives in 5- to 9-year-old children and in adults, in various situational contexts (neutral or ironic). The main result of this study was that ironic hints were more difficult to understand than ironic imperatives only when the context was neutral. When the context was ironic, there was no significant difference. Discussion highlights how context enables young children to understand very indirect requests like ironic hints.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): Children; figurative language; hint; indirect request; irony; sarcasm; understanding
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