Publication details [#3736]

Creusere, Marlena A. 2000. A developmental test of theoretical perspectives on the understanding of verbal irony: Children's recognition of allusion and pragmatic insincerity. Metaphor and Symbol 15 (1-2) : 29–45. 17 pp.
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The "allusional pretense" theory of verbal irony (Kumon-Nakamura, Glucksberg and Brown, 1995) claims that irony can be characterized as having 2 main features: (a) allusion to behavioral expectations, prior thoughts utterances, social conventions, and so forth and (b) pragmatic insincerity. Following a brief review of what is currently known about children's comprehension of irony, the focus of this article is on description of a developmental study testing the allusional pretense theory. One result of this study is that, just like adults, 8-year-olds were found to be able to recognize both allusion and pragmatic insincerity behind ironic speech acts. The potential effect of propositional form on irony comprehension is also discussed. (Marlena Creusere)