Verbal irony: Differences in usage across written genres

C.F. Burgers, M.J.P. van Mulken, P.J.M.C. Schellens

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According to Gibbs and Colston, one of the biggest challenges for irony research is the uncovering of the various ways in which irony is used in discourse. This article takes up a genre-based approach to deal with this research challenge. In a content analysis of ironic utterances from six written genres (commercial and noncommercial advertisements, columns, cartoons, letters to the editor, book and film reviews), ironic utterances are compared on the usage of irony factors and irony markers. Results indicate that every genre in the corpus differs from the general distribution for at least one irony factor and one category of irony markers. Taken together, the clustering of irony factors and markers in specific genres is a first step toward identifying the various ways in which verbal irony is used differently across various genres. © 2012 SAGE Publications.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)290-310
JournalJournal of Language and Social Psychology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2012


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