Como conceptualizamos a ironia no discurso? Representações e meta-representações do implícito

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In cognitive studies, it has been assumed for last 15 years (cf. studies by Gibbs, and colleagues) that irony is a fundamental way of thinking about the human experience rather than just a rhethoric or a linguistic strategy, as it used to be postulated for ages. Thus, irony is understood as a multi-faceted cognitive phenomenon, preferred to literal counterparts in the situation of hidden criticism, in order to soften the edge of an insult, to control emotions, and to avoid conflict and damaging social relationships. Recently, common assumptions that irony is a deliberate pragmatic action have been argued with (Gibbs 2012). It is postulated that ironic acts may not be as deliberate as it is often said they are. Speakers choose to use ironic statements for a variety of social and cultural reasons, and it is expected that this choice be strongly anchored in a given culture dependent on its social and pragmatic specificities, as well as cognitive ones, such as perspectivisation (cf. Dancygier & Sweetser 2015). In the present paper we are going to discuss different ironic interpretations of one joke from a corpus of European Portuguese oral authentic discourse. We shall focus on two levels of interpretation: (i) its cognitive semantic reading, based on polysemy anchored in a net of interrelated metonymies, and (ii) metarepresentational higher level reading, based on an assumption that irony is a way of metarepresentational thinking.
Original languagePortuguese
Pages (from-to)9-24
Number of pages15
JournalRevista Portuguesa de Humanidades | Estudos Linguísticos
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2016


  • Irony
  • European Portuguese
  • authentic Oral Discourse
  • Creative Use of Discourse
  • Linguistic Pragmatics
  • Discourse and Cognition
  • Metarepresentation

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