The Problems of Ironic Speech Acts Interpretation


The problems of irony interpretation and decoding in the light of speech acts theory provides a general idea of scientific developments in research of irony as a joint category of form, meaning and context. Currently there is a great interest in irony as a pragmatic category with the main aim to understand its functions and mechanisms in specific speech situations. Irony processing cannot be possible without speech acts theory, as the utterance becomes ironic only in the context that helps to detect its proposition which assists the hearer to determine the discrepancy between the speakers intention and literal meaning of the words he uses and to correctly interpret the utterance containing a wish, an idea or a feeling. So, to communicate irony means to achieve its correct understanding by intentional mutual exchange of information. Each example of irony shows specific features of speakers communicative intention to impress, criticise, protest, forbid, deny, ask, accuse, blame, reprimand, disapprove and the meaning he discloses accompanied by his emotional state, e.g. being annoyed, furious, angry, irritated, insulted or sympathetic. In conclusion, every ironic speech act 1) consists of the speaker, the hearer, the utterance itself, its ironical meaning, context, interlocutors psychological state, their shared knowledge and intention to express a certain attitude towards the expressed meaning; 2) has its specific communicative goal and emotional expressiveness. Through all these we come to the notion of pragmatics that studies speech acts and the context these speech acts are used in.

Author Information
Manana Rusieshvili, Tbilisi State University, Georgia
Ilona Kenkadze, Tbilisi National University, Georgia

Paper Information
Conference: ECLL2015
Stream: Pragmatics

This paper is part of the ECLL2015 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon