International Journal of Language & Linguistics

ISSN 2374-8850 (Print), 2374-8869 (Online) DOI: 10.30845/ijll

Stylistic Signals of Verbal Irony
Silvana Neshkovska

The subtle nature of ironic expressions, which very frequently serve to elegantly but covertly ‘sting’ the interlocutor, inevitably entails using cues or signals which point to the ironic intent of the ironist. Research has shown that there is a wide variety of linguistic items which undertake the role of signals in adequate ironic contexts. In this paper we focus on the stylistic signals of verbal irony as a separate category. In fact, the purpose of this study is to look deeper into their usage in Macedonian and English formal and informal speech. The accent is put, primarily, on ascertaining the frequency with which they occur in oral expressions; and, secondly, on determining the different types of stylistic signals. The results obtained indicate that metaphor, hyperboly, personification, understatement, synecdochy as well as proverbs are the most commonly used stylistic signals of verbal irony in both formal and informal Macedonian and English discourse.

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