On verbal irony, meta-linguistic knowledge and echoic interpretation

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The aim of this paper is to examine some actual examples of written verbal irony that contain apposition. Meta-linguistic knowledge about apposition as a syntactic structure is claimed to be involved in the interpretation process of the utterance and especially in recognizing the victim of the irony. This discussion demonstrates the interdependence between apposition, its echoic quality in particular cases, and the victim of the irony. Since syntactic structure may serve as a cue to indirect meaning, pointing at the specific meta-linguistic knowledge used for interpreting ironic utterances may enrich the discussion and enhance the description of the interpretation process. Different types of echoing are demonstrated and examined. The analysis also suggests that untruthfulness may serve mainly as a cue to the presence of irony, rather than as an essential component of this phenomenon.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-70
Number of pages14
JournalPragmatics and Cognition
Issue number1
StatePublished - 10 Jun 2004


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