Volume 8, Issue 2
  • ISSN 0929-0907
  • E-ISSN: 1569-9943
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The conditions for verbal irony comprehension implicitly or directly claimed as necessary by all of the recent philosophic, linguistic and psycholinguistic theories of verbal irony (Clark and Gerrig 1984; Kreuz and Glucksberg 1989; Kumon-Nakamura, Glucksberg and Brown 1995; Sperber and Wilson 1981, 1986) were experimentally tested. Allusion to a violation of expectations, predictions, desires, preferences, social norms, etc., was confirmed as a necessary condition, but pragmatic insincerity was not. Pragmatically sincere comments can be comprehended ironically. A revised set of conditions was proposed, involving intentional violation of Gricean conversational maxims and the portrayal of a contrast between expectations and reality. A cautionary note was made, however, regarding the viability of a single account of verbal irony comprehension.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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