Volume 11, Issue 1 (2020)                   LRR 2020, 11(1): 111-136 | Back to browse issues page

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Erfaniyan Qonsuli L, Sharifi S. Understanding Ironies in Graded Salience Hypothesis. LRR. 2020; 11 (1) :111-136
URL: http://lrr.modares.ac.ir/article-14-14476-en.html
1- Assistant Professor, Kashmar higher Education Institute, Kashmar, Iran
2- Associate Professor of Linguistics, Ferdowsi University of Mashhad, Mashhad, Iran.
Abstract:   (2445 Views)
The present study investigates the Graded Salient Hypothesis and its effect on irony in order to investigate what is an important factor in accessing to the meaning of irony. The purpose of this study was to measure RT (reading time) and to identify and explain the relationship between the three variables, context (literal, figurative), familiarity (familiar, less familiar and unfamiliar) and reading speed (slow, simultaneous, and Fast). The questions that this research sought to answer were:
1. Do unfamiliar ironies and two next expressions in the figurative and literal context are read with equal speed?
2. Do less familiar ironies and two next expressions in the figurative and literal context are read with equal speed?
3. Do familiar ironies and two next expressions in the figurative and literal context are read with equal speed?
The research material consisted of 46 ironies in the Persian language. Ironies were the result of a conversation between a 30-year-old woman and a 28-year-old man. These samples were the result of an 8-hour recording of non-consecutive conversations that were given to two experts to confirm the validity of ironies, and the examples in this study are the confirmed ironies. Then, for every irony, there was an affective context in the figurative meaning and an affective context in the literal meaning of that irony. A pre-test (pre-test 1) was conducted to determine the extent to which individuals were familiar with these ironies. The level of familiarity was determined on a seven-level axis, ranging from 1 (lowest familiarity) to 7 (highest familiarity). The subjects in this pre-test were 20 undergraduate students, this test was considered as their classroom work and for which they were given a score. In pre-test 2, to ensure that the literal and figurative contexts made for less familiar, familiar and unfamiliar ironies were equally strong, seven axial axes were drawn for each of the contexts. On one side, there was the literal meaning of the irony and on the other side, the figurative meaning of the same irony was mentioned. The axis was divided into seven sections and participants were asked to indicate which meaning of every irony was closest to it and how close it was. Two booklets were produced so that each booklet represented only one type of context. One booklet contained various examples of less familiar, unfamiliar and familiar ironies in the literal context, and another booklet contained various examples of less familiar, unfamiliar and familiar ironies in the figurative context. The participants in this pre-test were two groups of 23 people (each consisting of 11 men and 12 women, aged 18 to 27 years) and this pre-test was as a classroom task for them to perform and to obtain score. Each booklet was assigned to one group and each group did not have access to the other group's booklet, and every participant only had access to one context type for every irony. Also, those who were selected for the pre-tests were not included in the main test. A software was used to perform a self-paced moving window test that was able to measure the reading time of expressions. Participants were confronted with high-speed Windows 7 computers (with three-core CPUs and 2 GB of main memory), and the software was run in front of them. The main test was conducted in two stages, with a time interval of two months. In the first stage, the participants were presented with irony in the figurative context and their reading speed was measured. In the second stage, the same subjects were presented with the same ironies in the literal context and their reading speed was measured. The two-month interval between the two tests was because reading one phrase in a particular context not to provide the key for that phrase in the other context. On the other hand, the same participant had to participate again in the second stage. Because his reading speed in the figurative context was to be compared with the reading speed of the same person in the literal context so that individual differences in reading speed did not interfere with the results. The results showed that the ironies did not fully support the Graded Salience Hypothesis, and the results were in contrast to this hypothesis, in that the context often outweighed the salient meaning and influenced perception. Therefore, context and salience effects were not parallel to each other. Also, based on the results of the research, it seems that the salient meaning in both the less familiar and familiar ironies was the figurative meaning and the salient meaning in the unfamiliar ironies was both literal and figurative meaning.
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Article Type: Research Paper | Subject: Arts and Humanities (General)
Published: 2020/03/29

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