Discourse factors that influence online reading of metaphor and irony. Pexman, P. M.; Ferretti, T. R.; and Katz, A. N. Discourse Processes, 29:201--222, 2000. Reprinted in Gibbs & Colston (2007), p. 231-251
abstract   bibtex   
Statements such as “children are precious gems” can be interpreted as either a metaphor (children are valuable) or as a sarcastic comment on the metaphor (children are a burden). Katz and Pexman (1997) identified several constraints that biased readers toward either the metaphoric or the sarcastic-ironic interpretation: nature (occupation) of the person making the statement, whether the statement was counterfactual to information in the preceding discourse context, and whether the root metaphor instantiated in the statement was familiar. In this experiment, we investigated whether these constraints would be used online during normal reading. In a moving-window reading task, results showed that readers used the constraints early in processing the target statement and took longer to resolve the ironic (relative to the metaphoric) sense of the target statement. Also, data from the online reading measures were strongly correlated with ratings and memory data obtained by Katz and Pexman.
@article{pexman_discourse_2000,
	title = {Discourse factors that  influence online reading of metaphor and irony},
	volume = {29},
	abstract = {Statements such as “children are precious gems” can be interpreted as either a metaphor (children are valuable) or as a sarcastic comment on the metaphor (children are a burden). Katz and Pexman (1997) identified several constraints that biased readers toward either the metaphoric or the sarcastic-ironic interpretation: nature (occupation) of the person making the statement, whether the statement was counterfactual to information in the preceding discourse context, and whether the root metaphor instantiated in the statement was familiar. In this experiment, we investigated whether these constraints would be used online during normal reading. In a moving-window reading task, results showed that readers used the constraints early in processing the target statement and took longer to resolve the ironic (relative to the metaphoric) sense of the target statement. Also, data from the online reading measures were strongly correlated with ratings and memory data obtained by Katz and Pexman.},
	journal = {Discourse Processes},
	author = {Pexman, Penny M. and Ferretti, Todd R. and Katz, Albert N.},
	year = {2000},
	note = {Reprinted in Gibbs \& Colston (2007), p. 231-251},
	keywords = {irony},
	pages = {201--222}
}
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