Irony as a Cultural and Language Phenomenon

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The article focuses on irony as a multilateral phenomenon, which is the subject of many spheres: history, philosophy, culture, literature, linguistics etc. Different views on irony’s production and interpretation, as well as its development in history, are analyzed. Irony is viewed as a historic and cultural phenomenon, as well as a linguistic one. Irony exists in the sphere of other phenomena - humour, satire, sarcasm, joke etc. These notions are interrelated, they have something in common, yet irony has its own characteristics and peculiarities. It is stated that irony and language are inseparable, irony can function as an utterance, as a speech act and as a speech genre. The aim of the article is to analyze the characteristics of irony in discourse and to determine the conditions of efficient ironic communication. The author argues that irony as a discourse category is a common product of both the speaker and the recipient. Thus, to be effective, an ironic speech act needs proper cultural, social and psychological atmosphere. Theoretical basis is represented by both classical works on the nature of the comic, and contemporary research on irony.

About the authors

Anna A. Gornostaeva

Moscow State Linguistic University

Author for correspondence.
38, Ostozhenka str., Moscow, Russian Federation 119034

PhD in Philology, Associate Professor, Department of Translation and Pedagogical Excellence, Institute of Continuing Education


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