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Journal of Politeness Research

Language, Behaviour, Culture

Ed. by Grainger, Karen

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The relationship between irony and sarcasm: Insights from a first-order metalanguage investigation

Charlotte Taylor
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  • University of Sussex, School of English, Brighton, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
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Published Online: 2017-04-07 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pr-2015-0037


The relationship between irony and sarcasm has been much discussed and yet there is still little agreement on how the two relate at a theoretical level, as Attardo (2000: 795) notes “there is no consensus on whether irony and sarcasm are essentially the same thing […] or if they differ significantly”. The aim of this paper is to take a user-perspective and report on how participants in everyday conversations in the UK and Italy talk about irony and sarcasm and what kinds of authentic behaviors are described using these labels. These findings are discussed with reference to the academic concepts of irony and sarcasm to investigate how the lay and academic perspectives relate.

Keywords: mock politeness; implicational impoliteness; irony; sarcasm; corpus pragmatics

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Published Online: 2017-04-07

Published in Print: 2017-08-28

Citation Information: Journal of Politeness Research, Volume 13, Issue 2, Pages 209–241, ISSN (Online) 1613-4877, ISSN (Print) 1612-5681, DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/pr-2015-0037.

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