Verbal Irony as a Communicative Mode of Persuasion

Neshkovska, Silvana and Trajkova, Zorica (2018) Verbal Irony as a Communicative Mode of Persuasion. International Journal of Applied Language Studies and Culture (1). pp. 59-77.

[thumbnail of Verbal Irony as a Communicative Mode of Persuasion.pdf] Text
Verbal Irony as a Communicative Mode of Persuasion.pdf

Download (475kB)


The general pervasiveness of politics in modern society renders political discourse susceptible to
analysis by many different profiles of researchers, especially linguists.
This particular paper attempts to shed light on the usage of verbal irony in political discourse. The
premise we put forward here is that politicians in their political speeches purposefully employ irony in
order to enhance the persuasiveness of their speech. Moreover, we believe that the enhancement of
persuasiveness is in a direct correlation with the pragmatic functions of verbal irony. To put it
differently, 'seasoning' political speeches with ironic statements which evoke either humor; or express
mild ridicule, or harsh criticism at the expense of the political opponent, is what makes them truly
The corpus compiled for the purposes of this research comprises political speeches delivered by
American politicians in the course of the 2016 U.S. presidential race.
The results obtained primarily confirm the relatively high incidence of verbal irony in political
speeches; then, they also point to the relatively high degree of persuasion attached to irony in general
and its association mainly with expressing mild ridicule and harsh criticism.
Key words: political discourse, verbal irony, meta-discourse markers

Item Type: Article
Subjects: Scientific Fields (Frascati) > Humanities > Languages and literature
Divisions: Faculty of Education
Depositing User: Prof. d-r Silvana Neskovska
Date Deposited: 09 Sep 2020 10:31
Last Modified: 09 Sep 2020 10:31

Actions (login required)

View Item View Item