Chapter published in:Irony in Language Use and Communication
Edited by Angeliki Athanasiadou and Herbert L. Colston
[Figurative Thought and Language 1] 2017
► pp. 127–142
Chapter 6Irony and sarcasm in follow-ups of metaphorical slogans
In public political discourse, figurative expressions used by one participant are often followed up and ‘countered’ by other participants through ironical allusions, comments and altered quotations aimed at denouncing the original version or deriving a new, contrarian conclusion from it. What is the relationship between metaphor and irony in such cases: are they independently processed and then added to each other in the overall interpretation or are they integrated into a ‘blended’, context-dependent implicature? Using data from a corpus documenting the long-running political debate in Britain about the nation’s place at the heart of Europe, this paper investigates the interplay of metaphor, irony and sarcasm in comprehension processes. It is argued that the latter two involve speaker-hearer-shared awareness of aspects of the ‘discourse history’ of the slogan, including a default version of the metaphor, which in the case of sarcasm, is recontextualised in a contrasting scenario (e.g. that of a dead, rotting, diseased heart) with the aim of insulting or disqualifying the echoed or pretended ‘preceding’ speaker.
Keywords: discourse history, echoic utterance, follow-up, irony, metaphor, metarepresentation, quotation, sarcasm
- 2.Metaphor and irony
- 3.The heart-of-Europe metaphor in British public discourse 1991–2016
Published online: 14 December 2017
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Cited by 5 other publications
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