Irony in a theory of textual meaning

Lesley Jeffries

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


This chapter attempts to map out different types of irony, using a model of communication which encompasses a range of potential meaning including linguistic, textual, interpersonal and situational meaning. It is argued that the resulting description of potentially ironic examples can help to show where apparently different types have overlap. It also attempts to demonstrate the boundaries of irony in relation to linguistic more generally and to articulate some of the distinctions between irony and other forms of apparent clash such as and hypocrisy. The chapter concludes that irony can occur without intention and despite, not because of, an audience, though both intentionality and addressee(s) are needed for the most recognisable forms of verbal irony.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Pragmatics of Irony and Banter
EditorsManuel Jobert, Sandrine Sorlin
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing
Number of pages17
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264237
ISBN (Print)9789027200532
Publication statusPublished - 25 Apr 2018

Publication series

NameLinguistic Approaches to Literature
ISSN (Print)1569-3112


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