Irony in Language and Thought: A Cognitive Science Reader

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Raymond W. Gibbs, Herbert L. Colston
Lawrence Erlbaum Associates, 2007 - Language Arts & Disciplines - 607 pages
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Irony in Language and Thought assembles an interdisciplinary collection of seminal empirical and theoretical papers on irony in language and thought into one comprehensive book. A much-needed resource in the area of figurative language, this volume centers on a theme from cognitive science - that irony is a fundamental way of thinking about the human experience. The editors lend perspective in the form of opening and closing chapters, which enable readers to see how such works have furthered the field, as well as to inspire present and future scholars.

Featured articles focus on the following topics:

  • theories of irony, addressing primarily comprehension of its verbal form
  • context in irony comprehension
  • social functions of irony
  • the development of irony understanding
  • situational irony.

Scholars and students in psychology, linguistics, philosophy, literature, anthropology, artificial intelligence, art, and communications will consider this book an excellent resource. It serves as an ideal supplement in courses that present major ideas in language and thought.

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Interesting contributions (on the relation between sincerity and politeness):
Chapter 2 On the pretense theory of irony:
Herbert H. Clark & Richard J. Gerrig
Chapter 3 On verbal irony:
Deindre Wilson & Dan Sperber
Chapter 4 How about another Piece of Pie: the allusional pretence theory of discourse irony.
Sachi Kumon_Nakamur et al
Chapter 19: Children’s comphrension of critical and complimentary forms of verbal irony

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About the author (2007)

Raymond W. Gibbs, Jr. is Professor of Psychology at the University of California, Santa Cruz. He is previously the author of The Poetics of Mind and Understanding and Intentions in the Experience of Meaning. He is co-editor (with G. Steen) of Metaphor in Cognitive Linguistics" and editor of the Interdisciplinary Journal, Metaphor and Symbol.

Herbert L. Colston is Professor of Psychology at the University of Wisconsin, Parkside. Dr Colston has published widely and edited several books including Figurative Language Comprehension: Social and Cultural Influences and Irony in Language and Thought: A Cognitive Science Reader.

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