Theoretically on Mock Politeness in English and Italian
This essay offers insights into the problematic notions of irony, sarcasm and mock politeness, inspired by Charlotte Taylor’s recent monograph Mock Politeness in English and Italian. A Corpus-Assisted Metalanguage Analysis. Different understandings of the concept of mock politeness, as well as sarcasm and irony, are succinctly depicted. Some explanation is also provided for the contradictory findings reported in previous scholarship with regard to the im/politeness effects of irony. Additionally, this paper revisits Taylor’s select conclusions about the use of the first-order labels that she considers pertinent to mock politeness (i.e. labels used by lay language users).
Keywords: im/politeness, first-order label, irony, metapragmatics, mock politeness, sarcasm
Published online: 02 July 2018
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