Volume 2, Issue 1
  • ISSN 1878-9714
  • E-ISSN: 1878-9722
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Taking into account recent pragmatic and sociolinguistic approaches to irony, the present study investigates irony as a discursive resource Greek parliamentarians employ to fulfill their institutional roles and to negotiate verbal rules of conduct in highly institutionalized and confrontational debates. It is suggested that, besides criticism, parliamentary irony is used to sharpen attacks against the Opposition, to elicit vivid reactions from the audience and disaffiliate from, or align with, participants, to restore parliamentary order, and to establish cohesive ties between successive parliamentary speeches. Moreover, the recorded reactions to irony reveal that irony is considered a common and ‘legitimate’ discursive practice in the Greek parliament and is not negatively evaluated by Greek MPs. Such findings highlight the significance of contextual parameters for the sociolinguistic analysis of pragmatic phenomena and lead to a critical evaluation of those previous results which are based on the study of decontextualized and/or fictional ironical utterances and exchanges.


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