Defaultness shines while affirmation pales: On idioms, sarcasm, and pleasure

Rachel Giora, Dalia Meytes, Ariela Tamir, Shir Givoni, Vered Heruti, Ofer Fein

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review

Abstract

The Defaultness Hypothesis (Giora et al., 2015c) maintains that it is Defaultness that reigns supreme, superseding all factors known to affect processing initially, such as degree of Non/literalness, Nonsalience, Context strength, or Affirmation. Here we focus on weighing degree of Defaultness against degree of Affirmation. We show that, as predicted, processing default, salient responses to familiar Negatives is faster than processing nondefault, low-salience responses to less-familiar Affirmative counterparts. We further show that, despite benefitting from equally strong contextual support, default nonsalient Negative Sarcasm is processed faster than nondefault nonsalient Affirmative Sarcasm.1 Using linguistic and pictorial contexts, we also demonstrate that it is Defaultness that accounts for Nondefaultness’ appeal, rendering it optimally innovative and hence pleasing. It is Defaultness, then, that singlehandedly affects both processing speed as well as likability.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationIrony in Language Use and Communication
EditorsAngeliki Athanasiadou, Herbert L. Colston
PublisherJohn Benjamins Publishing Company
Pages219-236
Number of pages18
ISBN (Electronic)9789027264824
DOIs
StatePublished - 2017

Publication series

NameFigurative Thought and Language
Volume1
ISSN (Print)2405-6944

Keywords

  • Affirmative Sarcasm
  • Affirmatives
  • Defaultness
  • Negative Sarcasm
  • Negatives
  • Pleasure Ratings
  • Processing speed
  • Salience
  • The Defaultness Hypothesis

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