Volume 28, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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Research in Critical Discourse Studies has for long recognised the central role that both direct and indirect communicative strategies play in the reproduction of social inequality, but a main proponent of this approach has expressed scepticism with regard to the contribution that theories of pragmatics which specifically focus on speaker intentions can make to its agenda. This paper sets out to examine how relevance theory’s theoretical machinery can be applied to the critical discussion of ideology in discourse, by offering insights that overcome the limitations imposed by this concentration of its precursors on speaker intentions. More specifically, I discuss how the cognitive perspective that relevance theory adopts can inform our understanding of the way in which ideological effects automatically arise during spontaneous utterance interpretation. After accounting for the derivation of these effects, I briefly suggest how it can additionally be taken to underlie the propagation of ideologies through discursive practice.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
Keyword(s): critical discourse studies; ideology; relevance theory; speaker intentions
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