The role of echoing in meaning construction and interpretation
A cognitive-linguistic perspective
Echoic mention was initially proposed as part of the relevance-theoretic approach to irony (Sperber & Wilson, 1986). The aim of this article is to present an account of echoing as a cognitive operation that goes beyond (and yet includes) the interpretation of ironic remarks. For this purpose, we explore the cognitive mechanisms that underlie the production and interpretation of echoic uses of both ironic and non-ironic language. In the light of the examples under scrutiny, we claim that echoic mentions afford metonymic access to the echoed scenario, which is then contrasted with the observable scenario. The relationship between the two scenarios, which ranges from identity to contrast, passing through type-token similarity and metaphorical resemblance, determines the communicative purpose of the speaker, which may convey different kind of attitudes.
Keywords: attitude, echoing, echoed scenario, observable scenario, contrast, resemblance
Published online: 17 August 2020
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