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Title: "Lift your game, Martina!" - deadpan jocular irony and the ethnopragmatics of Australian English
Contributor(s): Goddard, Cliff  (editor)
Publication Date: 2006
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Abstract: Let me start with a couple of examples. A few years ago Martina Hingis was playing an early round match in the Australian Open tennis tournament in Melbourne. The Swiss champion was in superb form and was heading for an easy win. Nevertheless during a change of ends a spectator called out loudly to her "Lift your game Martina!". Hingis found this odd enough to warrant comment in the post-match media interview. "I couldn't understand it", she said, "I was playing great". My second example is closer to home - an incident involving me, my young son Kwan (then aged five) and Nick, a colleague of mine. Nick had brought his car around to our house, to give me and my son a lift into town. As we got in, it was obvious that the car was in an extremely untidy state. "Just cleaned the car, have you Nick?", I asked matter-of-factly, without any audible sarcasm. Kwan was puzzled. "Papa", he said, "The car is a big mess". In both cases, a cultural outsider had taken at face value an instance of what I call "deadpan jocular irony". The aim of this study is to describe, contextualise and interpret this peculiar Australian speech practice, using cultural scripts and other techniques of ethnopragmatic analysis. One theoretical concern will be to distinguish different formats for cultural scripts of different types. In particular, we will distinguish two kinds: those which capture certain social attitudes and values and thus have implications for language use, and those of a more specialised nature which directly concern ways of speaking and word usage. In this latter category fall scripts for different species of sarcasm and irony, as well as for a range of other rhetorical phenomena such as hyperbole, euphemism, and many others.
Publication Type: Book Chapter
Source of Publication: Ethnopragmatics: Understanding Discourse in Cultural Context, p. 65-97
Publisher: Mouton de Gruyter
Place of Publication: Berlin, Germany
ISBN: 9783110188745
Field of Research (FOR): 200408 Linguistic Structures (incl Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics)
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 970120 Expanding Knowledge in Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Category Description: B1 Chapter in a Scholarly Book
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Series Name: Applications of Cognitive Linguistics (ACL)
Series Number : 3
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