Pragmatic Aligment: The Coordination of Ironic Statements in Pseudo-Interaction

Abstract

Garrod & Pickering (2004) maintain that conversation is easy because automatic alignment at various levels occurs during conversation. Other related theories of alignment have also been proposed for emotional/mood coordination (Hatfield, Cacioppo, & Rapson, 1994). Many studies have evaluated alignment effects at various linguistic levels, but have not yet integrated pragmatic levels in these demonstrations. Two experiments test the impact of primed irony on participant contributions to interaction. Overall, individuals coordinate during interaction at the level of pragmatics (Experiment 1), and this is not explained merely by mood inducement through content of irony (Experiment 2). We discuss findings in terms of psycholinguistic alignment and emotional contagion.


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