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ERIC Number: EJ891558
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 25
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: 33
ISSN: ISSN-0163-853X
How Do Children Respond to Verbal Irony in Face-to-Face Communication? The Development of Mode Adoption across Middle Childhood
Whalen, Juanita M.; Pexman, Penny M.
Discourse Processes: A Multidisciplinary Journal, v47 n5 p363-387 2010
A number of studies have now examined the development of children's appreciation for verbal irony, typically by testing children's comprehension of the ironic speaker's belief and intent. This article examines a topic that has received much less attention: children's ability to produce irony in context-appropriate ways. The study presents 7- to 11-year-olds with brief stories that were each followed by an experimenter's literal or ironic remark. Of critical interest was whether children would show sensitivity to the convention of mode adoption by replying to irony with irony of their own. Results showed that children's overall rate of mode adoption was 8.67%. When ironic criticisms were presented (Experiment 1), irony was employed more frequently in the responses of older children than in the responses of younger children. When ironic compliments were presented (Experiment 2), no age effects were observed in children's ironic responses. Comprehension data show that the complimentary form of irony was more difficult for children to grasp. (Contains 2 tables.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Canada