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ISSN : 1226-4822(Print)
ISSN : (Online)
The Sociolinguistic Journal of Korea Vol.21 No.2 pp.29-46

The Interpretation of Linguistic Sarcasm

Hyun-jee Kang
Kyungpook National University
Received: 5. 24. 2013 Revised: 7. 20. 2013 Accepted: 7. 31. 2013


f politeness principles aim at maintaining a harmonious relationship among interlocutors, sarcasm targets the opposite end; it is designed to throw sarcastic accusation. Quite often, sarcasm is originated from Speaker. On occasions Hearer infers sarcasm out of Speaker's well-wishing utterances. In other times, Speaker's sarcasm is so blurry that Hearer cannot judge whether Speaker's utterance is sarcastic or not. This writer attempts to interpret linguistic sarcasm by illustrating different cases in which sarcasm is generated, transferred and interpreted. The first kind is Speaker-originated sarcasm. Speaker generates sarcasm and delivers it. Hearer interprets Speaker's sarcastic message as sarcasm. The second case refers to Hearer-originated sarcasm. Because of his or her own person hood or viewpoints of the world, Hearer infers sarcasm out of Speaker's innocuous utterances. The final case is the exploitation of ambiguity. Taking advantage of the linguistic ambiguity between sarcastic irony and banter, Speaker throws a punch of acerbic sarcasm. (165)



  1. Journal Abbreviation : j. Korea Saf. Manag. Sci.
    Frequency : Published three times annually in April, August and December, including an international issue
    Doi Prefix : 10.14353/sjk.
    Year of Launching : 2013
    Publisher :
    The Sociolinguistic Society of Korea
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