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16 maggio 2019: Francesca Panzeri: Are you serious? Irony (and lies) in social networks

Chiara Fumai, Untitled Legion, particolare

Workplace Studies Research Group: sites.unimi.it/workplacestudies

Seminar 2018-2019: "Language and Society"

Francesca Panzeri

Are you serious? Irony (and lies) in social networks

16 maggio 2019, ore 13:00-15:00.

Sala Enzo Paci, Direzione del Dipartimento di Filosofia, Via Festa del Perdono, 7

A person who ironically says "Salvini is a great politician" should make sure that the interlocutors recognize his communicative intention, to avoid misunderstandings (Principle of inferability, Kreuz 1996). The mandatory irony factor is the discrepancy between what is said and the context (that is, the speaker’s political opinions). Moreover, irony can be accompanied by markers that alert the interlocutor to go beyond the literal interpretation of the sentence. These meta-communicative cues include a particular prosody (the ironic tone of voice), gestural behaviours, particular lexical choices and syntactic constructions (Attardo, 2000). Although it is possible to find some of these markers even in a written text (Reyes, Rosso and Veale, 2013; Barbieri and Saggion, 2014), in social networks the risk of misunderstanding ironic statements is high. This is so because prosodic and gestural markers are absent, and moreover the audience is wide and does not always recognize the discrepancy between what is written and the personal opinions of the writer. We will therefore discuss real cases of misunderstandings of ironic comments that have been interpreted literally by many users, with the goal of highlighting the differences between oral and written forms of communication, and the characteristics of conversations in which the interlocutors have different levels of confidence.

Speaker’s short bio
Francesca Panzeri is an assistant professor in Philosophy of Language at the Department of Psychology of the University of Milano-Bicocca. Her research focusses on the semantics-pragmatics interface. She has worked mainly on pragmatic phenomena such as presuppositions, scalar implicatures and figurative language (metaphor and irony), focusing in particular on their acquisition in typical and atypical populations.

Participation is strongly recommended to students of the Doctoral School in Philosophy and Human Sciences.
Everyone interested is welcome to attend.

Organization: prof. Giampiero Gobo and prof. Alessandro Zucchi.

16 maggio 2019
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