A Multi- Pragmatic Study of Sarcasm in Political Texts

Zainab Kadim Igaab, Marwa Jasim Wehail


Sarcasm is one of the strategies that people use to attack the listener indirectly or in a way that seems to be kind on the surface. There is a shady relation between sarcasm and irony. Accordingly, this study sets the following aims which are identifying the most frequent type of speech acts that is used to convey the sarcastic meaning; knowing the conversational maxim that is breached by the sarcast to express sarcasm; shading light on the type of politeness maxim that is violated in the sarcastic messages; specifying the social functions of sarcasm in political texts; and revealing the linguistic mechanisms that are employed to reflect sarcasm. The researcher hypothesizes the following: expressives are the most frequent type of speech acts which are used to reflect sarcasm; sarcasm is the result of breaching quality maxim only; the most common violated politeness maxim in sarcasm is tact maxim; sarcasm mainly serves as a social control tool in the political contexts; and metaphor and explicitation are the most frequent mechanisms of sarcasm in political texts. The researcher adopts an eclectic model which consists of Speech Acts Theory of Searle and Vanderveken (1985), Grice's Conversational Implicature (1989), Leech's Politeness Principle (1983-2014), Ducharme's Functions of Sarcasm (1994), and Tabacaru's Linguistic Mechanisms of Sarcasm (2019). By using this model, the researcher finds that the most frequent type of speech acts is assertives, breaching quality maxim is a basic requirement to reflect sarcasm, the approbation maxim is the most violated maxim in the sarcastic texts, the dominant function of sarcasm in political texts is social control, and metaphor is used more frequent in the political context than other mechanisms.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5430/wjel.v13n6p349

World Journal of English Language
ISSN 1925-0703(Print)  ISSN 1925-0711(Online)

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