Article on irony available online

From: Francisco Yus (
Date: Thu May 30 2002 - 13:51:08 GMT

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    Now available here:

    On reaching the intended ironic interpretation*

    Francisco Yus

    University of Alicante, Department of English Studies

        Apartado 99. E-03080 Alicante (Spain)

                        International Journal of Communication 10 (1-2), 2001, pp. 27-78


    In the present article a criterion of optimal accessibility to irony is proposed from a cognitive
    perspective (mainly relevance-theoretic). According to Sperber and Wilson's (1986, 1995) relevance
    theory, for the identification of irony it is essential to find the echoic quality of the utterance and the
    speaker's attitude of dissociation towards this utterance. This identification can be speeded up with
    multiple activation of contextual sources. In a nutshell, according to this criterion, the fast, slow, or
    nonexistent identification of the attitude of dissociation underlying irony depends on the number (and
    quality) of incompatibilities detected by the addressee in multiple mental activations of the available
    contextual sources.


    F. Yus

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