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Metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse

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Metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse. / Musolff, Andreas.

In: Journal of Pragmatics, Vol. 109, 02.2017, p. 95-104.

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@article{1151ce4e12bf49399dae5d6755b5806c,
title = "Metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse",
abstract = "In public political discourse, figurative expressions used by one participant are often followed up and ‘countered’ by other participants through ironical and/or sarcastic allusions or quotations, which are aimed at denouncing the preceding version and/or deriving a new, contrarian conclusion from it. What is the relationship between the figurative template expression and its ironical or sarcastic variants? Using data from a corpus documenting 25 years of debate in Britain about the nation’s place at the heart of Europe, this paper investigates the interplay of metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse. We show that the ‘discourse career’ of this metaphorical slogan bifurcates into two strands, i.e. an affirmative, optimistic use vs deriding and ridiculing uses that depict the heart of Europe as diseased, dead, non-existent or rotten. It is argued that discourse participants need to retain the optimistic template version as a reference point in discourse memory to achieve the intended ironical and/or sarcastic effects, and that the latter are essential to keep the metaphoricity of the slogan ‘alive’.",
keywords = "Discourse history, Echoic utterance, Follow-up, Irony, Metaphor, Metarepresentation, Quotation, Sarcasm",
author = "Andreas Musolff",
year = "2017",
month = "2",
doi = "10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.010",
language = "English",
volume = "109",
pages = "95--104",
journal = "Journal of Pragmatics",
issn = "0378-2166",
publisher = "Elsevier",

}

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TY - JOUR

T1 - Metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse

AU - Musolff, Andreas

PY - 2017/2

Y1 - 2017/2

N2 - In public political discourse, figurative expressions used by one participant are often followed up and ‘countered’ by other participants through ironical and/or sarcastic allusions or quotations, which are aimed at denouncing the preceding version and/or deriving a new, contrarian conclusion from it. What is the relationship between the figurative template expression and its ironical or sarcastic variants? Using data from a corpus documenting 25 years of debate in Britain about the nation’s place at the heart of Europe, this paper investigates the interplay of metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse. We show that the ‘discourse career’ of this metaphorical slogan bifurcates into two strands, i.e. an affirmative, optimistic use vs deriding and ridiculing uses that depict the heart of Europe as diseased, dead, non-existent or rotten. It is argued that discourse participants need to retain the optimistic template version as a reference point in discourse memory to achieve the intended ironical and/or sarcastic effects, and that the latter are essential to keep the metaphoricity of the slogan ‘alive’.

AB - In public political discourse, figurative expressions used by one participant are often followed up and ‘countered’ by other participants through ironical and/or sarcastic allusions or quotations, which are aimed at denouncing the preceding version and/or deriving a new, contrarian conclusion from it. What is the relationship between the figurative template expression and its ironical or sarcastic variants? Using data from a corpus documenting 25 years of debate in Britain about the nation’s place at the heart of Europe, this paper investigates the interplay of metaphor, irony and sarcasm in public discourse. We show that the ‘discourse career’ of this metaphorical slogan bifurcates into two strands, i.e. an affirmative, optimistic use vs deriding and ridiculing uses that depict the heart of Europe as diseased, dead, non-existent or rotten. It is argued that discourse participants need to retain the optimistic template version as a reference point in discourse memory to achieve the intended ironical and/or sarcastic effects, and that the latter are essential to keep the metaphoricity of the slogan ‘alive’.

KW - Discourse history

KW - Echoic utterance

KW - Follow-up

KW - Irony

KW - Metaphor

KW - Metarepresentation

KW - Quotation

KW - Sarcasm

U2 - 10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.010

DO - 10.1016/j.pragma.2016.12.010

M3 - Article

VL - 109

SP - 95

EP - 104

JO - Journal of Pragmatics

JF - Journal of Pragmatics

SN - 0378-2166

ER -

ID: 102587437