The Prosodic Contribution to the Expression of Sarcasm in British English
MetadataShow full item record
The current research analysed the use of accentuation, pitch span, pitch minimum and maximum and duration in conveying sarcasm in different sentence types in British English. Sentence types that were included are simple declaratives, wh- exclamations, and sentences with negative question tags. Special attention was paid to the semantically most important word to the expression of sarcasm within an utterance. The results show that native speakers of British English do not use the absence or presence of accentuation on the semantically most important word to mark sarcasm. Moreover, the pitch span within the semantically most important word did not change if sarcasm was expressed. Interestingly, speakers lengthen the semantically most important word in sentences in order to convey sarcasm, and they employ a lower pitch minimum, and a lower pitch maximum in the semantically most important word. The discussed sentence types influence the placement of accentuation, duration, pitch minimum and pitch maximum of the semantically most important word in sentences, but no interaction effect with the use of sarcasm was found.