The defaultness hypothesis
Affirmative sarcasm, negative sarcasm
This paper demonstrates that, when interpretation is at stake, it is only degree of defaultness that matters. Neither degree of Negation, nor degree of Affirmation, nor equal degree of Novelty, nor equal degree of Literalness/Nonliteralness, nor equal strength of Contextual support, whether linguistic or pictorial (see Heruti et al. 2019), makes a difference. Instead, it is only degree of defaultness that counts. Indeed, having established degree of defaultness of negatives and affirmatives (Experiment 1.1) and their processing cost when in isolation (Experiment 1.2), we further attested to the speed superiority of default negative interpretations, which seemed more pronounced in the Left Hemisphere rather than in the Right Hemisphere (Experiment 1.2; see Giora, Cholev et al. 2018).We then further attested to the speed superiority of these negatives, when embedded in equally strong supportive contexts. Here, we also show that default Negative Sarcasm is processed significantly faster than nondefault Affirmative Sarcasm (Experiment 2). And when embedded in equally strong sarcastically biasing contexts, both hemispheres reflect the superiority of default Negative Sarcasm over nondefault Affirmative Sarcasm (Experiments 2.1–2.2). However, given Affirmative Sarcasm’s nondefaultness, it is only nondefault Affirmative Sarcasmthat is expected and shown to rely on cueing for its derivation (Corpus-based Studies 1–2, Section 3). Still, when hedonic effects are considered (see Section 4), it is only utterances’ nondefault interpretations, whether in linguistic (Experiment 3) or pictorial contexts (Experiment 4), that are entertaining, given that they make up Optimal Innovations, while involving default interpretations in the process (see Giora et al. 2004, 2017). It is degree of defaultness, then, that affects both (i) processing speed (whether in or out of context), (ii) reliance on cueing, and (iii) hedonic effects. Finally, in Section 5, our results and conclusions are summarized.
Keywords: defaultness hypothesis, affirmative sarcasm, negative sarcasm
Published online: 08 September 2021
Becker, I., & Giora, R.
Giora, R., Cholev, A., Fein, O. & Peleg, O.
Giora, R., Fein, O., Kronrod, A., Elnatan, I., Shuval, N., & Zur, A.
Giora, R., Givoni, S., & Fein, O.
Giora, R., Givoni, S., Heruti, V. & Fein, O.
Giora, R., Jaffe, I., Becker, I. & Fein, O.
Heruti, V., Bergerbest, D., & Giora, R.
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