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Barbara Bokus and Piotr Kałowski

Abstract

Following up on the previous special issue of Psychology of Language and Communication, devoted to irony, the current one concerns metaphors - another major form of non-literal language. The authors of the presented papers examine metaphor use and understanding in a wide variety of contexts, both in adult and child, as well as normal and abnormal populations. The result is a comprehensive survey of the current state of research, which opens further avenues of potentially fruitful inquiry.

Open access

Barbara Bokus and Piotr Kałowski

Abstract

Processing of figurative (nonliteral) language is the focus of this special issue of Psychology of Language and Communication. The main theme is irony, which has been called “the ethos of our times” (Wampole, 2012). The texts presented here consider irony from many different angles, thus expanding the psycholinguistic perspective to include problems of key importance for understanding the phenomenon. All of these texts open up new questions on irony comprehension and production. The next special issue (to be published in 2017) will discuss research on a different type of nonliteral language: metaphors.

Open access

Anna Milanowicz and Piotr Kałowski

Abstract

Literature points towards the role of context in irony interpretation and the existence of gender differences in language use. We decided to examine the influence of interlocutors’ gender stereotypes on interpreting and reacting to ironic criticism in conversation. To this end, we designed two experiments gathering participants’ responses to the same ironic utterances voiced both by women and by men in control and gender stereotype activation conditions. Results of the first experiment showed that women tended to use irony significantly more often when responding to a man than to another woman. The second, ongoing experiment will additionally examine participants’ response times and total time of utterance in respect to their addressee’s gender. The results are discussed with regard to the social comparison theory (Turner, Hogg, Oakes, Reicher, & Wetherell, 1987) and the linguistic intergroup bias theory (Wigboldus & Douglas, 2007).