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KCI등재 학술저널

A pragmatic account of using and realising irony in public service announcements: A relevance-theoretic approach

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The purpose of this paper is to make a pragmatic account of irony; particularly both sarcastic/non-sarcastic irony used and realised in public service announcements (i.e., PSAs) within a relevance-theoretic framework. As pointed out in Huang (2015: 163), traditionally irony has been known as ‘a figure of speech in which one thing is said but the opposite is meant by the speaker’. With reference to this point, by using sarcastic irony, the speaker may reprimand or sneer at other’s fault, bad attitude or wrong way of thinking in an indirect way; sometimes, deplore an irrecoverable situation which he/she cannot accept (Sperber and Wilson 1995). On the other hand, however, the speaker may also use (non-sarcastic) irony in order to humorously praise or encourage other person’s merit or achievement (Gibbs 1986; Barbe 1995; Kreuz 1996; Lee 2002). Besides these points, beyond blaming/ridiculing other’s fault or praising other’s merit/achievement, irony can also be used in another way: enlightening or educating the public particularly in PSAs. Irony used in PSAs makes a contribution to guiding people to practise or not to practise the specific values, behaviours and so on. Focusing on this point, by analysing the real cases of irony use shown in PSAs, this paper verifies that all kinds of irony can effectively be explained by a single principle of relevance, instead of other pragmatic approaches (e.g., Grice 1975; Leech 1983), which require to mobilise various maxims. By doing that, this approach may pursue a linguistic economy and contribute to explanatory extendability of relevance theory. (Gyeongsang National University)

Ⅰ. Introduction

Ⅱ. The environment where irony works and its linguistic characteristics

Ⅲ. Reviewing the previous pragmatic studies treating irony

Ⅳ. Case studies

Ⅴ. Conclusion

References

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