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date: 25 January 2021

Abstract and Keywords

Is sarcasm associable with lying? It could be, if we were considering only nondefault, context-based affirmative sarcasm (e.g., he is the smartest person around, said of a person who is an idiot). Indeed, there is plenty of evidence showing that affirmative sarcasm involves a two-stage process, whereby the first phase is initially misleading, involving its default, often literal interpretation in the process (‘he is very smart’). In this sense, affirmative sarcasm resembles lying. However, default negative sarcasm (He is not the smartest person around), whether in or out of context, is interpreted sarcastically directly (Giora, Drucker, Fein, and Mendelson 2015), and hence dissociable from lying. Experimental and corpus-based evidence is provided (Giora, Drucker, and Fein 2014; Giora, Raphaely, Fein, and Livnat 2014), attesting to the indirect processing of affirmative sarcasm and the direct processing of negative sarcasm.

Keywords: default interpretations, nondefault interpretations, affirmative sarcasm, negative sarcasm, lying, experimental evidence, corpus-based evidence

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