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HUMOR

International Journal of Humor Research

Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.

4 Issues per year


IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.655
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.718

CiteScore 2016: 0.94

SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.458
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.759

Online
ISSN
1613-3722
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Volume 27, Issue 4 (Oct 2014)

Issues

Differences in use and function of verbal irony between real and fictional discourse: (mis)interpretation and irony blindness

Eleni Kapogianni
Published Online: 2014-10-08 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0093

Abstract

This paper presents a contrastive approach to the presence of two distinct types of verbal irony in real (natural, unscripted) versus fictional (scripted) discourse, with a special focus on irony blindness, i.e. the inability to recognize ironic utterances. Irony strategies are categorized into two general types, based on the relationship between the expressed and the intended meaning (Type 1: meaning reversal and Type 2: meaning replacement). First, the differences between these two types are discussed in terms of use, interpretation, and misinterpretation. It is found that the first type of irony strongly prevails in natural discourse, while the second type is considerably more present in fictional discourse than it is in natural discourse. At the same time, the first type of irony appears to be more at risk of misinterpretation in natural discourse, as opposed to the second type, which seems to be a safer (even though less frequently selected) option. These findings are then further analyzed in light of the discussion concerning fictional (comedic, in particular) irony blindness and the construction and role of the irony-blind characters. Interestingly, the causes of fictional irony blindness are found to correlate more strongly with the (more humorous) misinterpretation of the second type of irony.

Keywords: irony types; (mis)interpretation; irony blindness; natural discourse; fictional discourse

About the article

Eleni Kapogianni

Eleni Kapogianni is a lecturer in English Language and Linguistics at the University of Kent. Her research lies in the areas of the semantics/pragmatics interface, experimental pragmatics, and intercultural pragmatics, with focus on the use and interpretation of nonliteral language in discourse.


Published Online: 2014-10-08

Published in Print: 2014-10-01


Citation Information: HUMOR, ISSN (Online) 1613-3722, ISSN (Print) 0933-1719, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/humor-2014-0093.

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©2014 by Walter de Gruyter Berlin/Munich/Boston. Copyright Clearance Center

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