Publication details [#6951]

Kreuz, Roger J. and Richard Miller Roberts. 1995. Two cues for verbal irony: Hyperbole and the ironic tone of voice. Bakhtiniana: Revista de Estudos do Discurso 10 (1) : 21–31. 11 pp.
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Article in journal
Publication language


The study reported here addresses some of the cues that are used in verbal irony. Irony may be accompanied by a slow speaking rate, heavy stress, and nasalization. The importance of this "ironic tone of voice" has been examined in a number of developmental studies, but its importance remains unclear. The ironic tone of voice may be confounded with the presence of hyperbole, or exaggeration. In order to assess its importance, hyperbole is orthogonally manipulated in a number of short scenarios. Veridicality, a known cue for irony, is also manipulated. Both factors exert significant effects on the perception of verbal irony. Hyperbole by itself suggests ironic intent in some cases. It may be the case that the ironic tone of voice is nothing more than the use of exaggeration. (Roger Kreuz and Richard Roberts)