Between irony and humor: A pragmatic model

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The goal of this paper is to propose a model that distinguishes between irony and humor in the context of literary texts. The comparative model was constructed based on existing models, and elaborated on them, substantiating the model through textual analysis focusing on cues for irony (Clark and Gerrig 1984; Grice 1975, 1978; Haverkate 1990; Sperber and Wilson 1981; Wilson and Sperber 1992;) and cues for humor (Alexander 1997; Jeffers 1995; Oring 1989; Raskin and Attardo 1994). The research was based on four conceptual paradigms: pragmatic studies of irony, pragmatic studies of humor, a pragmatic approach to the study of literary texts, and theories of text interpretation. The textual analysis was based on an existing model for the interpretation of indirect speaker's meanings (Dascal and Weizman 1987; Weizman and Dascal 1991; 2005), and on the concepts "cues" and "clues" as employed in that model.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)530-561
Number of pages32
JournalPragmatics and Cognition
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2011


  • Clue
  • Cue
  • Humor
  • Irony
  • Pragmatics
  • Textual analysis


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