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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2024, 7(1); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2024.070129.

Study of Irony on Speech Act Theory


Ronggen Zhang

Corresponding Author:
Ronggen Zhang

School of Foreign Languages, Shanghai Publishing and Printing College, Shanghai, China


The purpose of this paper is to study irony from the perspective of speech act theory. By applying two traditional irony standards and combining the classification of speech acts, this approach can establish a typology to distinguish between assertive, impositive, commissive, and expressive irony. This approach shows that the speaker may produce ironic illocutionary effects with the help of illocutionary, predicate and referential sub acts of speech acts. Finally, the paper points out some deficiency of this approach that the incorporation of the cooperative principle and the politeness principle into the speech acts theory still couldn't adequately explain how ironic utterances are understood and why they are made.


Irony; Speech act theory; Illocutionary act

Cite This Paper

Ronggen Zhang. Study of Irony on Speech Act Theory. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2024) Vol. 7, Issue 1: 188-195. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2024.070129.


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