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Pretence is often regarded as an important component of ironical use of language, e.g. by Clark & Gerrig (1984).

"The central idea behind pretence accounts of verbal irony is that the speaker is not herself performing a speech act such as making an assertion or asking a question, but pretending to perform it (or, in more elaborate versions, pretending to be a certain type of person performing it)." (WIlson 2006: 1734)


  • Clark, H. & R. Gerrig. 1984. On the pretense theory of irony. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General 113: 121-126.
  • Wilson, Deirdre. 2006. The pragmatics of verbal irony. Lingua 116: 1722-1743.