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Ironic implicature strength and the test of explicit cancellability

Kapogianni, Eleni (2018) Ironic implicature strength and the test of explicit cancellability. Intercultural Pragmatics, 15 (1). pp. 1-27. ISSN 1612-295X. E-ISSN 1613-365X. (doi:10.1515/ip-2017-0028) (KAR id:66772)


In this paper, the Gricean notion of explicit cancellability (Grice 1975, 19781) is used as a testable characteristic, able to indicate different degrees of strength for different types of (ironic) implicatures. According to the definition adopted for this analysis, implicature strength is determined by the likelihood of retrieval of an implicature in a specific context and, essentially, by the degree of certainty that the hearer maintains about the correctness of the inferred interpretation. Ironic implicature strength is considered to be the product of various factors (“factors of implicature strength”), some of which are always present (such as the type and strength of assumptions on which a derivation is based) while others are optional and appear in tandem with specific irony strategies. Irony strategies are categorised into two general types (meaning reversal and meaning replacement), which are expected to show different degrees of implicature strength, being influenced by different factors. For the experimental testing of the hypotheses, subjects were presented with the task of judging the acceptability of the explicit cancellation of various implicated (ironic, as well as non-ironic) meanings. Findings show significant differences between irony types in terms of cancellability (measured as acceptability of cancellation – AC), under the influence of (i) type of syllogism and associated assumptions, (ii) co-textual cues, and (iii) humorous framing.

Item Type: Article
DOI/Identification number: 10.1515/ip-2017-0028
Uncontrolled keywords: irony, explicit cancellability, implicature strength, humorous framing, oxymoron
Subjects: P Language and Literature
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Eleni Kapogianni
Date Deposited: 17 Apr 2018 15:04 UTC
Last Modified: 04 Mar 2024 15:31 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

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