0.

A General Introduction:
0.0. Introduction:
Language is the most important and efficient means of communication. It ensures a mutual understanding among participants in a communicative activity. According to Crystal (1990:247), «language is the most frequently used and most highly developed form of human communication we possess». When we speak a language, we characteristically perform speech acts. Crystal (1992:362) considers a “speech act” as "a communicative activity defined with reference to the intentions of a speaker while speaking and the effects achieved on a listener". However, speech acts can be either simple and direct or complex and indirect. In a direct speech- act, the utterance has only one intended meaning, which is the literal sentence meaning. This means that the speaker utters a sentence and means exactly what he says. In an indirect speech act, the intended meaning of the utterance is different from the literal sentence meaning. In this case, the speaker utters a given sentence, means what he says, but he also means something more, or something different from the literal sentence meaning. It is important to note that, despite the difference between the literal meaning of a sentence and the intended meaning of its utterance in indirect communication, understanding between participants in a communicative activity remains ensured. The understanding of indirect speech acts is based mainly on contextually relevant inferences. So, indirect speech acts are worth studying because, first, they are more efficient than direct speech acts in achieving our communicative goals, and, second, it is important to understand the mental processes that the mind goes through in working out the indirect meaning of indirect speech acts. One aspect of the nonliteral or indirect use of language consists of figures of speech. According to Crystal (1990: 135), a “figure of speech” is an “expressive use of language where words are used in a nonliteal way to suggest illuminating comparisons and resemblances.” This means that a figurative utterance is one which does not mean what it says literally. Therefore, my research paper will be limited to the study of
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metaphorical irony as a special case of figurative use of language in the performance of indirect speech acts for indirect communication. However, a study of metaphorical irony requires a separate study of “metaphor” and “irony” .We assume that, in metaphor, the intended meaning of the utterance is hidden and can only be inferred. In irony, the intended meaning is the opposite of the literal meaning of the produced utterance. So, in metaphorical irony, the hearer has first to work out the metaphorical meaning of the utterance and then look for its ironical meaning, which is the opposite of the metaphorical meaning.

0.1. Objectives:
In this research paper, I intend to achieve three main objectives: (a) To explain, through illustrative examples, the difference between the literal meaning of an utterance and its metaphorical or ironical meaning.(b)Provide an account of how metaphor and irony function in language use and identify the pragmatic factors that contribute to the mutual understanding between two interactants using such figure of speech as metaphorical irony. And, finally, (c) provide a pragmatic analysis of a set of data in which metaphor and irony are combined in linguistic utterances to achieve specific communicative goals. Our objectives may be achieved by answering the following research questions: 1. What is the difference between the literal meaning of an utterance and its

metaphorical or ironical meaning? 2. 3. 4. 5. What is the difference between metaphor and irony? What is metaphorical irony? What are the processes involved in the understanding of metaphorical irony? How is it possible for a speaker to say one thing and mean something else,

something more, or something different?

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How can the hearer understand the speaker's intended meaning, when the latter

means something different from what he says?

0.2. Methodology:
To answer the research questions above, I shall adopt a pragmatic approach , based essentially on Grice’s (1975)theory of linguistic communication and Searle’s (1977,1979)theory of metaphor. Metaphor and irony will first be dealt with independently from each other,using the aforementioned theories . To deal with the phenomenon of metaphorical irony, I will develop a pragmatic approach based on Grice’s (1975) theory of Conversational Implicature and Searle’s (1977,1979)theory of metaphor. Our data are collected from genuine speech-acts performed in Moroccan Arabic by Moroccan speakers.

0.3. Theoretical Framework:
The present research paper is about metaphorical irony, which is an aspect of indirect language use, which in turn falls within the domain of Pragmatics. According to the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (1995), “Pragmatics” is “the study of the way in which language is used to express or to interpret real intentions in particular situations, especially when the actual words used may appear to mean something different”. Therefore, our study of metaphorical irony will be carried to Do Things With Words , (1969,1979); within a pragmatic framework, the foundations of which are initially provided in Austin’s (1962,1975)How and further elaborated by such scholars as Searle and Wilson (1981), Bergmann(1991), Grice(1975),Sperber

Martinich(1991), and Davidson(1991). These works are important because they can help us understand not only the difference between “direct speech acts” and “indirect speech acts” ,but also the nature of indirect communication through the performance of indirect speech acts, metaphorical speech acts, and ironical speech acts .Therefore, they will make it easier for us to highlight the means by which the figurative meaning of metaphorical irony is perceived ,and , finally, identify the processes by which a hearer comes to understand metaphorical irony.
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This chapter starts with a review of the speech-act theory as initiated by Austin (1962.1975) and developed further by Searle (1969. The general conclusion provides a summary of our findings about the use and comprehension of metaphorical irony in addition to our comments on these findings.0. 1979) theory of metaphor. Chapter one provides a review of the relevant literature . focusing on the works of such scholars as Austin (1962. 1979) theory of metaphor. Bergmann (1991). and Sperber and Wilson's theory of irony. For this purpose. This chapter also attempts to develop a pragmatic approach whereby we can account for the rather complex phenomenon of metaphorical irony in linguistic communication.4 Organization of the Work: My research paper consists of three chapters.1979). in general. in particular. a set of relevant data will be analyzed using a pragmatic approach based on Grice’s (1975) theory of implicature and Searle’s (1977. in addition to a general introduction and a general conclusion. the status of irony in Grice’s (1975) theory of conversational implicature.Martinich (1991) .Grice(1975). and Davidson(1991). Sperber and Wilson(1981). This approach aims at uncovering the mental processes involved in the production and understanding of metaphorical irony. and metaphorical and ironical speech-acts. Chapter two is devoted to a discussion of Searle’s (1977. Chapter three aims at the examination of the explanatory power of our pragmatic approach to the phenomenon of metaphorical irony. 4 . This review will pave the way for our discussion of indirect speech acts. Searle(1979).1975).

CHAPTER ONE: Review of the Literature 5 .

The same source defines the term “utterance” as (a)"vocal expression. we focus on Searle (1977. a “sentence” is "a unit of speech consisting of a meaningful arrangement of words. Bergmann (1991). It focuses on such works as Austin (1962. an interjection (Ouch!)." Therefore. In the third part.The aim behind this review is manifold: a) to familiarize ourselves and the reader with the work of those scholars who initiated and developed speech-act theory. Being a unit of 6 . a wish. a question . Specifically. thereby contributing to the development of Pragmatics as a new field of study . Therefore. 1975). and Grice (1975). which falls within the domain of Pragmatics. style or power of speaking" and (b)"that which is uttered. we need to draw a distinction between the terms "sentence" and "utterance" before we provide a working definition of Pragmatics. the terms "sentence" and "utterance" refer to two different entities. or an exclamation (Heavens above!)”. It. or merely a word. I depart) or only a predicate (Go home). The other part involves a brief discussion of the speech-act theory. 1979). that expresses an assertion. b) provide the relevant theoretical background for our study of metaphorical irony. Davidson (1991). Sentence versus Utterance: According to Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary(1961). a command . we review a number of works concerned with the figurative use of language.1. and Sperber and Wilson (1981) . This constitutes one part of our review of the relevant literature. 1.0 Introduction: Our research paper is concerned with metaphorical irony. which is our domain of study. and c) select the approach we believe to be most appropriate for our analysis of the phenomenon of metaphorical irony as illustrated by the relevant data. or an exclamation. Searle (1969. Such sentences are sometimes called full sentences. which generally consist of a completive word or phrase (Where is john?-At home). Pragmatics is concerned with the appropriate use of sentences as utterances in the process of linguistic communication (lecture notes). as distinguished from minor sentences. and Martinich (1991).parto. or spoken or published. and typically containing a subject and a predicate( He played ball.1. 1979).

being the study of 'the formal relation of signs to one another'.grammatical analysis.In fact. who was concerned to outline (after Locke and Pierce) the general shape of a science of signs. have a variety of functions. rather than grammatically or semantically. this utterance may. According to Levinson (1983:1). turn the central heating on. order. For instance. 1. a sentence like (1): (1) “It is cold in here”. on the relationship between the speaker and the hearer. sentence meaning is independent of context and does not involve any intentions of the speaker. or semiotics (or semiotic as Morris preferred). However. and Pragmatics. "The modern usage of the term Pragmatics is attributable to the philosopher Charles Morris (1938). means what its words mean literally. However. For example. an utterance is the actual use of a given sentence in a given context with certain intentions on the part of the speaker. Crystal (1990: 243) suggests that "Pragmatics studies the factors which govern 7 ." Levinson (ibid: 5) admits that the term “Pragmatics” is very difficult to define. Semantics. it must be analysed pragmatically. It can be either true or false. the study of 'the relations of signs to the objects to which the signs are applicable'(their designata). it can be used to request. etc the hearer to close the window. namely that “It is cold” in the place being referred to by “here". etc (lecture notes). their shared background knowledge. This sentence counts as a statement of a fact. when it is uttered in the process of communication. Therefore. A Working Definition of "Pragmatics": “Pragmatics” is a branch of linguistics which studies the ability of language users to pair sentences with the contexts in which they would be appropriate (lecture notes). and the speaker’s intentions. depending on the context in which it is used. Within Semiotics. or state of affairs.2. a sentence means only what its combined words mean . We can conclude that the meaning of an utterance depends on the context in which it is used with the intentions to perform a given speech act. the study of 'the relation of signs to interpreters'. Morris distinguished three distinct branches of inquiry: Syntactics (or syntax).

there are all kinds of factors which constrain what we will say. Speech.linguistic factors that include the context.3. Crystal (1992:310) defines “Pragmatics” as "the study of language from the point of view of the users especially of the choices they make. using extra. In theory we can say anything we like. and the hearer. we follow a large number of social rules (most of them unconsciously) which govern the way we speak".Act Theory: Speech-act theory is at the heart of Pragmatics. In practice. Pragmatics. the speaker." From the preceding definitions. 1. as the understanding of the meaning of an utterance depends on the context in which it is used. or even the token of the symbol or word or sentence. The objective of Pragmatics is the identification of the relationship between the linguistic utterance and the extralinguistic factors.someone's choice of language." It is noteworthy that all the studies on speech-acts use the same terminologies initially introduced by Austin in his (1962. pragmatics deals with those extra-linguistic elements that determine the meaning of utterances as used in the process of communication. we can deduce the following facts about "Pragmatics": First. by contrast. Semantics deals with the meaning of sentences with no reference to their users. or their communicative functions. Searle (Ibid: 221-222) stresses the importance of the study of speech acts by stating that it is not " the symbol or word or sentence. In short. the context of their use. and the effects their use of language has on the other participants in an act of communication. It studies the meaning of utterances and the way they are interpreted in special contexts. focuses on the context in which language is used for special communicative purposes. This theory was initiated by Austin (1962) and further developed by Searle (1965). If we choose to say something. the constraints they encounter in using language in social interaction. How to Do Things with 8 . and how we will say it. which is the unit of linguistic communication. but rather it is the production of the token in the performance of the speech act that constitutes the basic unit in linguistic communication. Pragmatics must be distinguished from Semantics. 1975) pioneering work. when they speak or write.

9 . let us consider Austin's example: (2) "I do (take this woman to be my lawful wedded wife)". Performatives resemble statements. but of doing something . Therefore. many “statements” were considered only “pseudo-statements” and were shown to be strict nonsense.Words. Austin (ibid) argues that "not all true or false statements are descriptions" . 1.He proposes to use the term “constative” instead of “descriptive”.1.1. To illustrate.And they are not a true or false report of something. Austin (ibid: 3) calls this assumption the “descriptive fallacy”.l. at least in their grammatical form.1. and speech-act theory in particular. in their view. “utterance”. These terminologies are. let us begin by reviewing his work. Introduction : J . the first thing he does is to draw a distinction between performative utterances and constative utterances. So. or to state some fact. So. they are not statements of fact. “performance”. “force”. “speaker”. etc. namely. “context”.3.Prior to Austin’s (1962) work.1. 1962:1) . In his (1962) work How to Do Things with Words.3. it was widely assumed that to say something is simply and always to state something. and he undertakes to challenge it. Austin's Speech-Act Theory: 1. but they can not be true or false. 1.0. which it must do either truly or falsely"(Austin. Austin (1975:5) points out that such utterances are not (or not merely) cases of saying something. Performatives versus Constatives Austin uses the term “performative” utterance to refer to those utterances which were considered by the “logical positivists” a type of nonsense because.3.Austin is the father of modern pragmatics in general. “sentence”. This led both philosophers and grammarians to conclude that a statement of fact ought to be “verifiable”. Austin begins by questioning the assumption that “the business of a statement can only be to describe some state of affairs. “hearer”.

This is different. which is pronounced in the course of a marriage ceremony.2. 1. as proposed by Austin (Ibid: 14-15): A. A. This statement is verifiable in terms of truth and falsity. is not a description of the doing of the action or a statement that the action is done. B. it is doing the action.1 There must exist an accepted conventional procedure having a certain conventional effect. Here. necessary for the "happy" functioning of a performative. For example. unlike constatives. Since Performatives. we do not say that the utterance is false but void. Austin (ibid: 14-15) proposes to assess them in terms of what he calls “felicity conditions”. besides the uttering of the words. cannot be assessed in terms of truth conditions. for example. B. These conditions consist of the things which are. The procedure must be excuted by all participants completely. The procedure must be excuted by all participants correctly.Utterance (2). 10 . that procedure to include the uttering of certain words by certain persons in certain circumstances. These are the Felicity conditions for the happy performance of a speech-act. If one (or more) of these conditions is not realised. or even the performance of acts of uttering further words. (4)"I promise that (the money will be yours)".2 The particular persons and circumstances in a given case must be appropriate for the invocation of the particular procedure invoked. Austin calls it an "unhappy" utterance. the issuing of the utterance is the performing of an action (not just saying something). The preceding utterance requires appropriate circumstances of the uttering of the words in addition to the performance of certain other actions. from the statement: (3) "The weather is hot".

as often. Here.3. all explicit performatives begin with or include some highly significant and unambiguous expression. and his answer might be either ‘Yes’ or ‘No’. or for the inauguration of certain consequential conduct on the part of any participant. If somebody utters statement (5) above.1. 1. it is an abuse of the procedure because it is insincere. Austin (ibid: 23) states that all the possible cases of infelicity are not mutually exclusive. then a person participating in and so invoking the procedure must in fact have those thoughts or feelings. 11 . If the two last conditions are not realized. If conditions A and B are not realized. and further T. However. fixed.2. Implicit (or primary) peformatives. etc. the explicit performative rules out equivocation and keeps the illocutionary force. Explicit Performatives Versus Implicit Performatives : According to Austin (ibid: 32). These expressions make it plain how the utterance is to be taken or understood."I bequeath". do not make explicit the precise force of the utterance or “how it is to be taken” (Austin. so that it does not take effect." I promise". the infelicity is called a “Misfire”. must actually so conduct themselves subsequently. Where. Therefore. the act is not void. on the other hand. the act purported to be done is null or void. Here. as the following example illustrates: (5) “I shall help you”. and the participants must intend so to conduct themselves.T.They are characterized by the vagueness of meaning and uncertainty of sure reception (ibid: 76). relatively.2. the infelicity is an “Abuse”.1. 1975:73) . such as "I bet". he might be asked the question “Is that a promise?”. the procedure is designed for use by persons having certain thoughts or feelings. and the circumstances are in order.

Moreover. are not so much false as void. in pure explicit performatives (such as “state” or “maintain”). He (ibid: 90) comes to the conclusion that. Austin(1975:62) finds out that for an utterance to be performative. the whole thing is surely true or false even though the uttering of it is the performing of the action of stating or maintaining. the unhappiness affecting a performative utterance can be the same as the unhappiness affecting a statement. Consider example (8) for illustration: (8) “It is yours”. performative and constative. a distinction must be made between the performative opening part (I state that) which makes clear how the utterance is to be taken (here a statement not a prediction) from the that–clause which is required to be true or false. Finally. 12 .Having made the previous distinction. Austin (1975:61) finds that the verbs which seem to be specially performative verbs serve the purpose of making explicit (not the same as stating or describing) what precise action it is that is being performed by the issuing of the utterance. the more the whole thing can be considered as an act. which refer to something which does not exist. (6) “The present king of France is bald”. Austin (ibid: 50) notices that statements. The following utterance is a case in point. So.In fact. the performative is not so obviously different from the constative. let us assume that the one who utters (7) does not believe that the cat is on the mat. (7) “The cat is on the mat”. it must be used performatively. the same sentence can be used on different occasions of utterance in both ways. Austin (1962:20) maintains that the more we consider a statement as an utterance (not as a sentence). Therefore. The insincerity of this assertion is the same as the insincerity of a promise. Upon a closer study of performatives. To illustrate. Therefore.

For example. This consideration leads him (ibid: 94-103) to find out that there are three different senses of the use of language in the performance of the speech act. or even by saying something we do something”. Illocutionary Act: The performance of an act in saying something as opposed to the performance of an act of saying something.This utterance can be a constative. This act has a meaning because it consists of the uttering of a certain sentence with certain sense and reference. and decides to consider “ how many senses there may be in which to say something we do something. collapses.. thoughts.1. Perlocutionary Act: The consequential effects that the saying of something often produces upon the feelings. Illocutionary. 1975:55). the initial distinction between performatives and constatives. ordering. This act has a certain conventional force. informing. persuading... Therefore. or of other persons. meaning "I give it to you”. 13 . which was justified as a distinction between doing and saying. convincing. which is equivalent to meaning.3. or actions of the audience. because “considerations of the happiness and happiness type may infect statements (or some statements) and considerations of the type of truth and falsity may infect performatives (or some performatives)” (Austin. Locutionary. deterring. These acts (or senses) are as follows: Locutionary Act: The act of saying something. or in saying something we do something. and Perlocutionary Acts: After finding it very difficult to distinguish performatives from constatives. or of the speaker. For example.. meaning “It (already) belongs to you”. Austin (1975:94) resorts to the fundamentals of language use.3. 1. or a performative.

In fact. advising..Exercitives: They are the exercising of powers. assessing. urging. On the basis of the above. rights. but we cannot report it using the expression “said that”. For example. warning.. (9a) He said to me “Do your homework”. appointing. The preceding example clearly demonstrates the difference between the locutionary. illocutionary. or influence. Thus. For example. He distinguishes five general categories: 1-Verdictives: They are typified by the giving of a verdict by a jury. Austin (1975:151-163) suggests a classification of utterances on the basis of their illocutionary force. (9b) “He advised me to do my homework”. For example. illocutionary. we perform the act of stating. grading. Austin (ibid: 147) concludes that “stating is only one among very numerous speech-acts of the illocutionary class” because when we state something.Austin (1975:96-102) explains the difference between locutionary. This direct locutionary act can be reported. describing… 2. Austin (1975:114) has discovered that when we utter a sentence. we necessarily perform both locutionary and illocutionary acts. voting. This suggests that there is no distinction between constatives and performatives. convicting. and our utterance is liable to be happy or unhappy (as well as true or false). as both belong to a general class of performatives. or umpire. 14 . we can talk about (9c): (9c) “He convinced me to do my homework”. arbitrator. If there are consequential effects produced on the hearer. ordering. we will have the illocutionary act (9b). and perlocutionary acts. and perloctionary acts by illustrating the difference between “direct speech” and “reported speech”.

2. 5. swearing… 4. Austin’s taxonomy involves (at least) six weaknesses.Many of the verbs listed in the categories do not satisfy the definition given for the category. how we are using words.Behabitives: They have to do with attitudes and social behaviour. condoling. 1.2. 4-There is too much overlap of the categories.1. or. undertaking.There is too much heterogeneity within the categories. For example.Commissives: They are typified by promising or otherwise undertaking. For Searle. They commit the speaker to doing something. this is due to the fact that Austin’s was not a classification of illocutionary acts but of English illocutionary verbs.. Searle’s Assessment of Austin’s Classification: According to Searle (1979: 11). Examples are “I reply”. in general.3. apologizing. and he thought it is incomplete. 15 . The weaknesses identified by Searle are as follows: 1-There is no consistent principle of classification. challenging. congratulating.Searle’s Contribution to Speech. It is important to note that even Austin (ibid: 151) was not satisfied with this classification.Expositives: They make plain how our utterances fit into the course of an argument or conversation. commending.Not all the verbs are illocutionary verbs.Act Theory: 1.. 5. 3.3.3. are expository. cursing. promising. “I concede”. “I agree”. vowing... 2. For example.

Searle argues that the expressed psychological state 16 . requests and commands have the same illocutionary point: they are both attempts to get the heaver to do something. on the other hand. and the “expressed sincerity conditions”. A-Differences in the Point (or Purpose) of the (Type of) Act: Searle (ibid: 2-3) calls "illocutionary point". and the word -to. and promises. one of which is the illocutionary point. a difference in the "direction of fit".6.word direction of fit with an upward arrow (↑). vows.world direction of fit with a downward arrow (↓). However. For example. and involve the “illocutionary point”. Others. get the world to match the words.3. “direction of fit”. 1975) classification. For him. Searle (1979:2-5) proposes a taxonomy of illocutionary acts based on three dimensions.Differences in Expressed Psychological States: According to Searle (ibid: 4-5).2. in the performance of any illocutionary act with a given propositional content. and explanations are examples of this type. B-Differences in the Direction of Fit Between Words and the World: Searle (ibid: 3-4) states that some illocutions have as part of their illocutionary point to get the words (more strictly. The Basis of Searle's Alternative Classification : As an alternative to Austin’s (1962. the point or purpose of an illocution. the illocutionary point of an illocutionary act is part of but not the same as its illocutionary force. to promise to do (a) is to express an intention to do (a). descriptions. C.2.There is a persistent confusion between verbs and acts. These dimensions concern the ways in which illocutionary acts differ from one another. assertions. He represents the world -to. The illocutionary force results from several elements. Statements. Cases in point are requests. For example. their illocutionary forces are different. commands. the speaker expresses some attitude to that propositional content. Searle calls this difference. 1. to state that (p) is to express the belief that (p). their propositional content) to match the world.

3. beg. insist.3.W.holds even if the speaker is insincere. Directives may be symbolized as follows:! / W (H does A). state. ! Indicates the illocutionary point of the members of this class. to the truth of the expressed proposition. This psychological state constitutes the sincerity condition of the act. ask . there are five basic categories of illocutionary acts: A-Assertives: Their point or purpose is to commit the speaker (in varying degrees) to something being the case. The direction of fit is world-to -word and the sincerity condition is want (or wish or desire). Searle’s Alternative Taxonomy: According to Searle (ibid: 12-20). Their propositional content is always that the hearer H does some future action A. C. and the psychological state expressed is Belief (that p). is the assertion sign for the illocutionary point common to all the members of this class. For example.Commissives Searle (ibid: 14) admits that Austin’s definition of commissives “seems unexceptionable”. The direction of fit is word-to –world. command. request. Assertives are assessable in terms of truth and falsity and may be symbolized as follows: B (p). conclude. order. For example. For example. Commissives are those illocutionary acts whose point is to commit the 17 . “want”.2. suggest. deduce… B-Directives: Their illocutionary point is that they are attempts (of varying degrees) by the speaker to get the hearer to do something. Searle symbolizes the expressed psychological state with the capitalized initial letter of the corresponding verb. and I respectively symbolize the expressed psychological states of “belief” . B. permit…. and “intention”. 1.

“I resign”. promise. For example. congratulate. thank.Expressives: Their illocutionary point is to express the psychological state specified in the sincerity condition about the state of affairs specified in the propositional content. P is a variable ranging over the different possible psychological states expressed in performance of the illocutionary acts in this class.3. vow…. “E” is the illocutionary point common to all Exprissives. The propositional content ascribes some property to either S or H. condole… D. the 18 . in indirect speech acts. D. the speaker’s utterance meaning and the sentence meaning differ. the sincerity condition is intention. “You are guilty (as uttered by a judge in a court)”… 1. “You are fired”. This class may be symbolized as follows: E O (P) (S/H + property). apologize. O indicates that there is no direction of fit. Declarations are symbolized as follows: D O (P). and the propositional content is always that the speaker S does some future action A. We have the following symbolism: C / I (S does A).Declarations: In the case of Declarations. The direction of fit is both word -to-world and worldto-word. D is the declarational illocutionary point. For example. The successful performance of one of its members brings about the correspondence between the propositional content and reality (the world).2. the state of affairs represented in the proposition expressed is brought into existence by declaring it to exist. There is no sincerity condition.4. For example. In fact. C symbolizes the members of this class. However. Indirect speech Acts : Searle (1979: 30-31) states that direct speech acts are cases where the speaker utters a sentence and means exactly and literally what he says. the direction of fit is world-to-word. P is the usual propositional variable.speaker (in varying degrees) to some future course of action.

Its secondary illocutionary force is that it is a question about the ability of the speaker to pass the salt. first of all. Directives are the most useful to study because ordinary conversational requirements of politeness normally make it awkward to issue flat imperative sentences. means what he says. and the primary illocutionary act. factual background information. establishing that the primary illocutionary force departs from the literal illocutionary force. This strategy aims at. (10) “Can you pass me the salt?” The primary illocutionary force of utterance (10) is a request . what the primary illocutionary force is. Searle (1979: 32-35) proposes an inferential strategy that the hearer has to follow in order to move from the secondary illocutionary act to the primary illocutionary act.speaker utters a sentence. while the latter is related to speaker meaning. principles of conversational cooperation. which is literal. He (ibid: 42) asserts that the former is related to sentence meaning. Thus. is derived from the theory of speech-acts together with background information. Searle (ibid: 47) points out that the first part of this strategy is established by the principles of conversation operating on the information shared by the hearer and the speaker. on the other hand. which is not literal. politeness is the chief motivation for indirectness. for Searle (ibid: 48). Searle (ibid: 36) suggests that. Searle (ibid: 46-47) identifies ten steps that constitute the inferential strategy that a hearer follows in order to grasp the primary illocution of an indirect speech-act. and second. This inferential strategy is based on facts about the conversation. We can apply these steps to the secondary illocution (11a). but also means something more or something different. and inferences. The second. For example. Searle (ibid: 34) makes a distinction between the secondary illocutionary act. in the field of indirect illocutionary acts. as uttered by a speaker X to a hearer Y who is making too much noise: (11a) “Can you keep quiet?” 19 .

It probably has some ulterior illocutionary point. Step seven: (inference from steps one and six) Therefore. X has asked me a question the affirmative answer to which would entail that the preparatory condition for requesting me to keep quiet is satisfied.The hearer goes through the following steps in order to get the primary illocution (11b): (11b) “I want you to keep quiet” Step one: (fact about the conversation) X has asked me a question about my ability to keep quiet. Step six: (theory of speech act) A preparatory condition for any directive illocutionary act is the ability of the hearer to perform the act predicated in the prepositional content condition. Step four: (factual background information) X probably already knows that the answer to that question is yes. Step five: (inference from steps 1-4) Therefore his utterance is probably not just a question. studying needs concentration. 20 . Step three: (factual background information) The conversational setting is not such as to indicate a theoretical interest in my ability to keep quiet. my friend is studying. Step two: (principles of conversational cooperation) I assume that he is cooperating in the conversation and that therefore his utterance has some aim or point. Step nine: (inference from steps seven and eight) He has therefore alluded to the satisfaction of a preparatory condition for a request whose obedience conditions it is quite likely he wants me to bring about. Step eight: (background information) I am making too much noise. etc.

Searle (1979:49) states that “the theory of speech-acts and the principles of conversational cooperation do. The Cooperative Principle: Grice (1975:45) gives a general formulation of the Cooperative Principle as follows: “Make your contribution such as is required.4. which Grice calls the “Cooperative Principle”. on which the Cooperative Principle is based. to some extent. cooperative efforts. 1. he is probably requesting me to keep quiet. “Our talk exchanges do not normally consist of a succession of disconnected remarks and would not be rational if they did.4. Grice’s Theory of Communication: According to Grice (1975: 45). or at least a mutually accepted direction. Relation.” He (ibid: 45-46) states that the conversational maxims. 21 and under it fall two sub-maxims: . to some degree at least.Step ten: (inference from steps five and nine) Therefore.4). provide a framework within which indirect illocutionary acts can be meant and understood". and Manner. 1. and each participant recognizes in them.1. in the absence of any other plausible illocutionary point. It is important to note that Searle’s analysis of the phenomenon of indirect speech-acts is based mainly on Grice’s (1975) theory of conversational implicature (see 1. a common purpose or set of purposes. can be divided into four categories. by the accepted purpose or direction of the talk exchange in which you are engaged. in order for a conversation to be purposive and rational. Quality. at the stage at which it occurs. 1. Quantity: this category relates to the quantity of information to be provided. participants are expected to observe a general principle. They are characteristically. indeed.” This statement reveals that. These categories are Quantity.

The hearer grasps the implied meaning because he assumes that though the maxim of quality is violated at the level of what is said. Grice makes a distinction between what is ‘said’ and what is ‘implied'. For example. Relation: under this category falls a single maxim which is “Be relevant”. the utterance meaning (that she is ugly) is conveyed to H by implication. 22 . Quality: under this category falls a supermaxim. b-avoid ambiguity. 2. it is (or at least the overall C. implicature is worth studying. 3. d-be orderly. Under the maxim of Manner falls the supermaxim "Be perspicuous" and other four submaxims : a-avoid obscurity of expression. to be said. B-Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. but to how what is said is 4."try to make your contribution one that is true". P is) is observed at the level of what is implicated.47). (12) “She is an ape”. So.2. c-be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity). If a speaker S utters (12) to a hearer H. Manner: this category is not related to what is said. First.and two more specific maxims: A-Do not say what you believe to be false. B-Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence. Implicature: According to Grice (1975:46.4. the generation of implicatures “seems to play a role not totally different from the other maxims”.A-Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purpose of the exchange). 1.

That is to say. besides helping to determine what is said . For example. P. He may quietly and unostentatiously violate a maxim.To illustrate. P and the maxims". which include the following: 1. for example. the conventional meaning of the words used will determine what is implicated. 3.Grice (ibid: 44 – 45) distinguishes two types of implicature: conventional implicature and conversational implicature: 1. Grice (ibid: 49) points out that talk exchanges “will be profitable only on the assumption that they are conducted in general accordance with the C. He may opt out from the operation both of the maxim and of the C. he will be unable to fulfill the first maxim of quantity without violating the second maxim of quality. 2.Conventional Implicature : In the case of a conventional implicature. It is essentially connected with some general features of discourse. a participant in a talk exchange may fail to fulfill a maxim in various ways. 23 . (13) “Even John loves Mary” Utterance (13) implies that there are people other than John who love Mary. especially if he lacks evidence for the information that he wants to convey. 2. However. as in the case of lying. P. We can determine this from the conventional meaning of the word “Even”. he may express his unwillingness to cooperate in the way the maxim requires. Conversational Implicature: It is a subclass of nonconventional implicatures. He may be faced by a clash. and is based on the assumption that the participants in a talk exchange observe the C.

there is no reason to suppose that he is not observing the maxims. and its maxims. 5. Here. P. The C. he is undoubtedly exploiting that maxim. P. This strategy is as follows: "He has said that p. Grice (ibid) proposes an inferential strategy that a hearer. 2. can use in order to work out a conversational implicature. 4." Consider the following example for illustration: (14a) X tells his friend Y that “Z is a wolf”. 1. he knows ( and knows that I know that he knows ) that I can see that the supposition that he thinks that q is required. The conventional meaning of the words used together with the identity of any references that may be involved. he has done nothing to stop me thinking that q. or is at least willing to allow me to think that q.4.A General Inferential Strategy for Working out a Conversational Implicature : Grice (1975: 50) states that the following data are reliable for the hearer in order to work out that a particular conversational implicature is present: 1. is not opting out. This means that he may blatantly fail to fulfill it.4. he intends me to think that q.3.. the speaker is able to fulfill the maxim without violating another maxim. 24 . based on the data above. and is not trying to mislead. Other items of background knowledge. and both participants know or assume this to be the case. 3. Therefore. The context of the utterance. The fact (or supposed fact) that all relevant items falling under the previous headings are available to both participants. He may flout a maxim. he could not be doing this unless he thought that q . or at least the C. This situation is one that characteristically gives rise to conversational implicature. and so he has implicated that q.

5. since many utterances are open to various possible interpretations. he has implicated that (14b) . the speaker of (15a) can add the clause (15b) to show that a he has opted out of the C.P. 2 . Certain Features of Conversational Imlpicature: Grice (1975: 57-58) states that conversational implicature is characterized by four features.For example. X must think that: (14b) “Z is cunning”. X intends Y to think that (14b).The calculation that a particular conversational implicature is present requires.4. (15b) “I am just kidding”. besides contextual and background information.4. So. but only by the saying of what is said. Therefore.: (15a)"you are a pig". Y can work out the conversational implicature as follows: X has said that “Z is a wolf”.Many implicata are indeterminable. 4. Since there is no reason to suppose that X is not observing the maxim of Quality. 3 – Conversational implicata are not part of the meaning of the expressions to the employment of which they attach. 25 . 1.A generalized conversational implicature can be cancelled in a particular case . only a knowledge of what has been said.The implicature is not carried by what is said.Using Grice’s inferential strategy. X knows (and knows that Y knows) that the supposition that he thinks that (14b) is required. The latter are as follows: 1. and he has done nothing to stop Y thinking that this supposition is true.

” The Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1961) defines metaphor as “a figure of speech in which a word or a phrase literally denoting one kind of object or idea is used in place of another by way of suggesting a likeness or analogy between them. The former is the literal meaning of the utterance. So. It refers to a particular set of linguistic processes whereby aspects of one object are ‘carried over’ or transferred to another object. However. According to Searle (ibid: 80-81). the literal meaning of the sentence only determines a set of truth conditions relative to a set of background assumptions which are not part of the 26 . The preceding literal utterance is characterized by three features. “the word ‘metaphor’ comes from the Greek word ‘ metaphora’.2 Searle’s Theory of Metaphor: Searle (1977. which is different from its conventional literal meaning. First.5.1. in literal utterance. and the latter is its metaphorical meaning. 1979:77) distinguishes between the word (or sentence) meaning and the speaker's utterance meaning. and ‘pherein’ . Definition: According to Hawkes (1989:1).” From these two definitions.1. what are the factors that make metaphors conversationally acceptable and understandable by interlocutors? The answer to this important question can be derived from the review of the following literature. due to the transfer of the properties of one element to another. the literal sentence meaning is the same as the speaker’s utterance meaning. this word or phrase is not considered anomalous. Metaphor: 1. we can deduce that.5. the word or phrase used metaphorically acquires a new meaning. so that the second object is spoken of as if it were the first. that is. Consider example (16) for illustration: (16) “Sally in tall”. Second. 1. the speaker means what he says.5. the speaker’s meaning coincides with sentence meaning. derived from ‘meta’ meaning ‘over’. [meaning] ‘to carry’ .

the sentence and the words have only their literal meaning.literal meaning. For him (ibid). These principles are as follows: Principle 1: Things which are P are by definition R. Searle (Ibid:83-84) provides a general characterization of the metaphorical utterance as follows: “The speaker utters a sentence of the form ‘S’ is ‘P’ and means metaphorically ‘S’ is ‘R’ . if the metaphor works. Third. 27 . R will be one of the salient defining characteristics of P . the problem of metaphor concerns the relations between word or sentence meaning. These assumptions must be shared with the hearer in order to have a successful communication. Searle (Ibid: 77) argues that. Searle (ibid) asserts that in metaphor.For example . the notion of similarities plays a crucial role in any account of literal utterance. Searle (ibid: 107-111) proposes nine principles that can help us identify the values of R and as a result grasp the intended meaning of metaphor. a theory of metaphor must explain how it is possible to utter ‘S is P’ and both mean and communicate ‘S is R’”. the speaker’s meaning is different from the sentence meaning. In order to identify the principles that relate literal sentence meaning to speaker's utterance meaning. and a set of shared background assumptions. awareness of the conditions of the utterance. However. when we talk about the metaphorical meaning of a word. expression. communication is successful (ibid: 77). on the other. he (ibid: 84) maintains that these are not enough for the understanding of the metaphorical utterance. in metaphor. (17a) “Sam is a giant". and speaker’s meaning or utterance meaning . The speaker and the hearer know that the words uttered do not exactly and literally express what the speaker meant. how is it possible to say one thing and mean something else? And. the understanding of both literal and metaphorical utterances requires the knowledge of the rules of language. how do speaker’s meaning and sentence (or word) meaning come apart? In Searle’s (ibid:77) view. So. on the on hand . usually. In fact. or sentence. we talk about possible speaker’s intentions. However.” Therefore.

can be taken to mean (17b) “Sam is big”. nor are they like R things. For example. because giants are by definition big . whether culturally or naturally determined.known property of P things. it is a fact about our sensibility. nonetheless. can be taken to mean (18b) “Sam is filthy”. nor are they believed to be R. so that P is associated in our minds with R properties. Principle 3 : Things which are P are often said or believed to be R . To illustrate. even though both speaker and hearer may know that R is false of P . 28 . (19a)"Richard is a gorilla" can be taken to mean (19b)“Richard is mean” although zoologists have shown that gorillas are very gentle creatures. if the metaphor works. the property R should be a salient or well. Principle 4: Things which are P are not R. Principle2: Things which are P are contingently R . (20a)“Sally is a block of ice” could metaphorically mean (20b)"Sally is unemotional" even though there is no literal similarity between "Sally" and the "block of ice". For instance.Again. (18a)“Sam is a pig” . that we just do perceive a connection.

For example. or even the clothing and wearer relation. but where one. (24) “The crown accepted the offer”. the container. Principle 9 : When we say “S is P” . He has to find a relation (or property) that is similar to.contained relation. The associations with P terms are those of the principles 1-7. The different S terms restrict the values of R differently. (22) “The parliament was addled”. For instance. or otherwise associated with. Principle 6: There are cases where P and R are the same or similar in meaning. (25) “Sam's voice is mud”.In this case the hearer has to go from “SP. Principle 8: P and R may be associated by such relations as the part-whole relation. (21) “you have become an aristocrat” . This utterance can be said to a friend who has just received a promotion to mean that he has become like an aristocrat. nonetheless the conditions of being P are like the conditions of being R. For example. 29 . For example. is restricted in its application and does not literally apply to S. This association allows us to say "S is P" and mean metaphorically “S is R”. the relation or property literally expressed by the metaphorical expression P. Principle 7 : This principle is a way of applying principles 1-6 to simple cases which are not of the form S is P . (23) “The ship ploughs the sea”. and are not believed to be like R things. but relational metaphors and metaphors of other syntactical forms . usually P.relation S” to “SR-relation S” (not from “S is P “ to “S is R”). The “S” term does not restrict the range of possible R’s generated by the P terms.the different combinations of S and P create new R's . For example.Principle 5: P things are not like R things.

He (Ibid) states that the interpretation of a metaphor depends on imagination. Step 3: The hearer uses a set of strategies or principles in order to restrict the range of the possible values of R to the actual value of R . the hearer can compute the metaphorical meaning of metaphorical utterances using a strategy that involves three steps: Step 1: The hearer recognizes that the utterance is not intended literally . 30 .He can do so on the basis of the most common strategy that the utterance is obviously false if taken literally. as the latter functions as a comprehension strategy and not as a component of meaning.So. Davidson denies the idea that a metaphor has a special meaning because metaphor adds to the ordinary an achievement that depends on the same semantic resources as the ordinary . if a speaker and a hearer have shared linguistic and factual knowledge sufficient to enable them to communicate literal utterances. 1991:495). Searle (ibid: 88-90) maintains that the metaphorical assertion is not an assertion of similarity. in their most literal interpretation.3. Therefore. metaphor does not say anything beyond its literal meaning.Only those possible values of R which determine possible properties of S can be actual values of R. Step 2: The hearer uses some shared principles that associate the P term with a set of possible values of R. According to Searle (Ibid: 112).5. It can not be paraphrased because “there is nothing there to paraphrase”. and nothing more” (Davidson.(26) “Kant’s second argument for the transcendental deduction is so much mud”. 1.Davidson’s Theory of Metaphor: Davidson’s (1991) thesis is that “metaphors mean what the words. mean. it is a creative effort that is little guided by rules.

and all sense of metaphor evaporates. often a new or surprising one. Davidson argues that this account is not complete. He says that metaphor belongs exclusively to the domain of use because its meaning does not concern the meaning of the words but their use. When we paraphrase a metaphor. Davidson decides to analyze metaphor pragmatically.Therefore. In general. Davidson (Ibid: 502) maintains that it is only when a sentence is taken to be false that we accept it as a metaphor and start looking for its hidden implication. Therefore. it can not be paraphrased. Davidson (Ibid: 502) maintains that metaphor must be explained by appeal to the literal meaning of the words. on the original meaning. or what often called “extended” meanings. For Davidson (Ibid: 497). certain words (used metaphorically) take on new. in some way. He (ibid) maintains that metaphor makes us notice some likeness. then waters really do have faces. it is natural to posit unusual or metaphorical meanings to help explain the similarities metaphor promotes. He adds that metaphor is brought off by the imaginative employment of words and sentences and depends entirely on the ordinary meaning of the sentences they comprise. He (ibid: 496) draws a distinction between what words mean and what they are used to do. there is no difference between metaphor and the introduction of a new term into our vocabulary. (27) “The spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters”. we 31 . For example. between two or more things even though this is not asserted explicitly. for if the word “face” applies correctly to waters. Davidson concludes that metaphor depends. It usually expresses either a patent falsehood or an absurd truth. Davidson (Ibid: 503-504) asserts that a metaphor expresses only what is given in the literal meaning of its words. if words in metaphors are applied directly to what they properly do apply to. Therefore. Davidson (ibid) admits that . in this utterance.and not because it says “something too novel for literal meaning” (Ibid: 496).

there is no limit to what a metaphor calls to our attention. 1991: 485). Bergmann (Ibid) argues that “ not only is the richness of metaphor compatible with its use in making assertions.5. when we try to say what a metaphor “means”. in her view. nor does the audience typically attribute all of those readings to the author. To conclude. our assessments of the richness of metaphors are based on the workings of the same linguistic mechanism which enables us to make and understand specific assertions with metaphors.4. a person who uses metaphor to make an assertion typically does not intend to assert everything that we can “read into” the metaphor. She maintains that metaphor is related to the use of language and must not be 32 . She echoes Davidson’s (1991) view that metaphors mean only what they literally mean and that the provision of a well-defined context and a real author may make it possible to state conclusively what metaphor “means” without drawing out all that it could mean. which lies on the surface. She (ibid) admits that metaphors are rich. or suggest many things. Bergmann (Ibid: 487) is not of the opinion that metaphors are always used to make assertions.” Therefore. Davidson (Ibid: 504-505) considers that metaphor has a hidden power and not a hidden meaning .do not attempt to give its meaning.Bergmann’s Theory of Metaphor : Bergmann (1991) provides a theoretical account of the assertive use of metaphor. She argues that “metaphors can be used and used successfully to make assertions”(Bergmann. For Bergmann (Ibid: 486). and diverse ones. She focuses on assertive metaphors that occur in conversational contexts. Therefore. in addition. the richness of metaphor does not preclude its use to make assertions. in the sense that they invite many readings. we realize that there is no end to what we want to mention. but not by standing for or expressing the fact. but.It has effects on us but it does not contain these effects. It makes us appreciate some fact. In fact. 1. but evoke what the metaphor brings to our attention.

classified according to the illocutionary force, but according to three dimensions: Sincerity (truth-telling or lying), purpose (illocutionary force), and manner (the systematic relation between the words used and the content of the illocutionary act). So, for her, the identification of a sentence as a metaphor is a classification according to manner. In assertive metaphor, there are two distinct identifications as to use: The sentence is being used as a metaphor, and to assert. She adds that propositions are language independent entities. Therefore, when language is used literally to assert a proposition, the proposition is the meaning of the sentence used. In other words, the words literally express the proposition. In the case of metaphor, we do not assert the proposition that is literally expressed by the sentence. Hence, a distinction must be made between sentence meaning and speaker’s meaning (cf. Searle 1977, 1979) Bergman (ibid: 487) maintains that, in metaphor, the content of what is communicated is a direct function of salient characteristics associated with (at least) part of the expression rather than of the literal meaning of that part. She (ibid) points out that the salient characteristics of a thing are those which we would typically list immediately if asked to state what we believe is distinctive of that thing .For example, (28) “John is an Einstein”. In (28), the proposition asserted is a function of the literal meaning of “John” and of salient characteristics, such as intelligence, associated with “Einstein”. For her (Ibid: 489), metaphorical assertions are distinguishable from literal ones not by the content of what is said, but by the manner of saying it .She (Ibid: 488) stresses the idea that “salience is context-dependent”, and that the properties or relations may be ephemerally rather than eternally salient. This context includes the proposition asserted, in addition to the background knowledge about parties to the conversation. Therefore, salience relation with the expressions in metaphor is the basis for determining the content of metaphorical assertions. To illustrate,

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(29) “Life is a game”. To understand utterance (29),we try to find the characteristics which are distinctive of games and attribute them to life. Bergmann (Ibid: 484) concludes that metaphors may be used to make assertions. An assertion is true if the proposition asserted is true, and false otherwise. This truth or falsehood must be tied to the assertion made, not to the sentence used. However, for an assertive metaphor to be successful, it has to fulfil three conditions, which are as follows: 1. The audience must recognize that the literal content of the sentence is conversationally inappropriate and that the author’s utterance is a metaphor. 2. The audience must recognize the author’s utterance as an assertion. 3. The audience must properly identify the proposition the author intended to assert. This can be done by choosing salient characteristics that are believed to be mutual knowledge in the conversational setting. Bergmann (Ibid: 489-490) gives five arguments to substantiate her claim concerning the relation between the richness of metaphor and its assertive use: 1. The salience relation distinguishes metaphor from other tropes. 2. Understanding metaphor involves more than understanding word meaning. 3. A metaphor used assertively may not admit of a simple paraphrase either because there is a lexical gap in our vocabulary, or because there is no literal paraphrase that can capture the suggestiveness of a metaphor or give its insight. 4. There is no one answer to the question “Why do we use metaphors?” 5. The assessment of the richness of metaphors is based on the workings of the same linguistic mechanism that makes it possible to make specific assertions with metaphor. In fact, this mechanism is the salience relation between the expression used and the content of what is communicated.
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Bergmann (Ibid: 492) concludes that it is the reliance on the associated salient characteristics rather than the purpose for assertions. which an expression is used that makes a linguistic act a metaphorical one. So, metaphors can be used successfully to make

1.5.5.Martinich’s Theory of Metaphor:
According to Martinich (1991:507), “metaphor is pragmatically and not semantically based”. He (Ibid: 517) maintains that the literal or metaphorical use of a sentence depends on the context of its use. This leads him to rely on Grice’s (1975) theory of communication in order to explain metaphor. Following Grice, Martinich (Ibid: 508) makes a distinction between “saying-that” and “making –as-if-to-say”. The former is closely tied to the words actually uttered and their ordinary meaning. The latter, however, is realized by flouting the maxim of quality. Martinich notes that in the case of metaphor, the speaker is not speaking falsely. He aims at the truth because he does not say-that anything but only makes-as-if-to-say something, and his words are not taken literally. Also, Martinich draws a distinction between what the speaker says (or makesas-if-to-say) and what he implies. He (Ibid: 508-509) points out that Bergmann’s view that metaphors are typically used successfully to make true assertions is defective because it conflates the previous elements. Martinich (ibid) rightly observes that Bergmann (1991) does not distinguish between what is conversationally implied by a metaphor, and what a speaker asserts by a metaphor. For example, (30) “Mary is a butterfly". This utterance is patently false if it is an assertion, what is not false is its implication.

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Martinich (Ibid: 509) argues that conversational implication is crucial to the understanding of metaphor. In fact, saying that P conversationally implies that Q just in case: 1. The speaker has said (or made-as-if-to-say) that P. 2. The speaker is observing the conversational maxim or at least the cooperative principle. 3. The satisfaction of conditions (1) and (2) jointly makes it highly plausible that the speaker means that Q. Martinich (Ibid: 504) states that “the audience must use reasoning in order to calculate what implication has been made". Therefore, Grice’s (1975) conversational maxims are not enough to understand what has been implicated. Martinich adds “inference” as an important feature of a conversational implication. For Martinich (Ibid: 510), every metaphor is (or is thought to be) either literally false or supposed to be false. Therefore, he concludes that there are two types of metaphor: a-Standard Metaphors: They are literally false and cannot be asserted. They flout the second maxim of quality because they are cases of making-as-if-to-say. b-Nonstandard Metaphors: They are supposed to be false. This does not mean that they are intended to be false but are treated as if they were false in order to consider their consequences. They are rare and would be literally true if asserted. For example, if Princess Grace of Monaco is speaking with an American friend about her daughter Caroline, she might say: (31) “Caroline is our princess”. For Martinich (Ibid: 514), utterance (33) would be literally true if asserted because it is obvious that Caroline is from a princely family. Therefore, the utterance must be intended metaphorically in order not to flout the maxim of Quantity and be
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defective .So, the speaker must be implying something else. The audience can calculate the intended meaning of the utterance by supposing that the utterance is false (it flouts the maxim of quality) and test the consequences. In general, Martinich (Ibid: 514-515) observes, “if the metaphorical proposition does not appear to be patently false, the audience is led to suppose that the literally true proposition must be supposed to be false in order to understand what the speaker means and interpret it as a standard metaphor”. In Martinich’s view standard and nonstandard cases of metaphor are united by two elements: (a) the role that falsity plays in generating the metaphor, and (b) the characteristic form of conversational implication. In every metaphor, the speaker utters one thing and means something inconsistent with what he said. So, every metaphorical proposition is false .However, its point is not false. It is typically true and conversationally implied in virtue of the fact that the speaker flouts the first maxim of Quality. Martinich (Ibid: 510-511) makes a distinction between “metaphor” and a “lie”. For him, “no metaphor is a lie", because while metaphor flouts the maxim of Quality, a lie violates it. In fact, the hearer relies on the ostentatious falsity of the utterance as one important clue that the speaker is speaking metaphorically. Furthermore, Martinich maintains that a falsehood would make sense in the context only if it were disguised and the audience is justified in believing that the speaker is observing the conversational maxims. The speaker signifies by an implicature which is worked out using what Martinich calls “salient features” which help the audience determine the properties of the metaphorical term that the speaker is thinking of. Martinich notes that not all salient properties are meant by the speaker. Therefore, these properties must be further reduced using two more principles: 1. Inference, to determine what the speaker conversationally implies. This inference involves the maxim of relation. 2. The properties intended are only those that contribute to a true conclusion.

37

” This effect is achieved by the contrast between the reality and appearance. In fact. which irony promotes. which flout the maxim of Quality. Moreover.Martinich (Ibid: 516) identifies three principles that constrain the premises that are added to a metaphor in order to infer its point: a-Salience: These premises must involve features that are salient to the metaphorical term. Martinich (Ibid: 512) disagrees with Davidson’s (1991:495) idea that sentences used metaphorically retain their literal meaning. 1.Irony: 1. Introduction: In his work (1970:4). Muecke agrees with Kierkeguard’s claim that “no authentic human life is possible without irony. He (ibid) further argues that the comparison theory of metaphor is false because not all metaphors "trade on similarity". he replaces this maxim by his maxim: “Do not participate in a speech act unless you satisfy all the conditions for its successful and nondefective performance. is an “attempt to transcend the restrictions of normal discourse 38 . 1979) theory of metaphor weak.6.0. c-Truth-production: They must form a premise that ends to yield a true conclusion. Therefore. according to Ernest Behler (1990:111). b-Relevance: They must fulfil the maxim of relation by being relevant to the topic of the conversation . following Goethe. Searle has dealt only with standard cases of metaphor. Irony.” He (ibid).” The preceding observation explains why Martinich considers Searle's (1977.6.” This importance comes from the fact that Irony produces “a supreme effect through means the least extravagant. emphasized the importance of irony by describing it as “that little grain of salt that alone renders the dish palatable. Martinich (Ibid: 515-516) rightly observes that Grice’s (1975) formulation of the maxim of quality is too narrow because it applies only to speech acts that have truth values.

This term was first recorded in Plato’s Republic and it seems to have meant ‘a smooth. the real meaning is meant to be inferred . Definition: According to Muecke (1970: 15-17). the intended implication of which is the opposite of the literal sense of the words”. ridicule. such as a situation. a sequence of events. The latter defines “irony” as a “sort of humour. For example. in irony. In our research. the ironist says something in order to have it rejected as false. According to the former. Verbal irony involves semantic inversion. It is regarded now as a figure of speech which is defined as ‘saying the contrary of what one means’. a robber who was robbed. Muecke (ibid: 35) notes that in deceptions. Observable irony involves a disparity between what might be expected and what actually happens.6. Muecke (ibid: 7) admits that “the concept of irony is vague. “irony” is “the expression of one’s meaning by saying the direct opposite of what one is thinking but using tone of voice to indicate one’s real meaning”. 1. This definition is confirmed by the Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary (1995) and Webster’s New Collegiate Dictionary (1961). Later. Muecke (ibid) adds that the concept of irony developed very slowly. etc.1. “Irony” comes from the Greek word “Eironeria”. it is not completely withheld because it is implicit and not meant to be immediately apprehensible. we will focus on verbal irony. or light sarcasm. low-down way of taking people in’. this term was applied to the deceptive use of language before becoming a figure of rhetoric. This term did not appear in English literature until 1502. The ironist presents something ironic.In fact. It also accomplishes “what lies beyond the reach of direct communication”. In this case. 39 . unstable and multiform”. the reality is withheld. and it was until the eighteenth century that it came into general literary use.and straightforward speech”. He (ibid: 56) identifies two types of irony: observable and verbal. However.

how is the intended meaning of an ironical utterance worked out? 1.6. including Muecke (1970:33).3. Similarly. we can conclude that irony is a figure of speech by which one intends to convey the opposite of what one says and the hearer understands the contrary of what the speaker says . For him. the hearer has to interpret it as meaning the opposite of its literal form”. Behler (1990:76) considers that “the most basic characteristic of all forms of classical irony is always that the intention of the speaker is opposed to what he actually says”.2. So. and why they occasionally (but not always) implicate the opposite of what they 40 .From the above. Searle (1977.Therefore. 1979:113) notes that. the intended meaning of an ironical proposition is the contradictory of its literal meaning. For him. Martinich (1991:513) echoes Grice’s view. Grice (1975:53) explains irony in terms of conversational implicature. irony is a case of flouting the maxim of Quality . This view is shared by many other scholars. Bergmann (1991:489) observes that “the relation in irony is one of inversion: what is meant is the opposite of what is literally expressed”. in irony. To render it appropriate.6.So. 1. The Concept of Irony: The idea that the literal and the intended meaning of an ironical utterance are contradictory is accepted by many scholars. “the utterance if taken literally is grossly inappropriate to the situation. who points out that “the basic feature of every irony is a contrast between reality and appearance”. ironical utterances are cases of making-as-if-to-say. Sperber and Wilson’s Theory of Irony: Sperber and Wilson's (1981) account of irony explains why ironical utterances are made. the contravention of the maxim of Quality is only apparent and not genuine and the speaker means just the opposite of what he makes-as-if-to-say.

Sperber and Wilson (1981: 552) strongly reject the notion of figurative meaning. Concerning the pragmatic approach. their analysis (ibid: 557) differs from Grice's analysis in two main respects. ironical understatements. In their view. rather than figuratively mean. First. the opposite of what they literally say. the traditional semantic theory analyzes irony as literally saying one thing and figuratively meaning the opposite. Sperber and Wilson (ibid) maintain that "Grice's purely pragmatic account of irony also fails". which is not semantic but pragmatic. and it is the context that allows the choice of a single interpretation. nor does it explain why figurative utterances exist. They (ibid: 550-551) argue that both the existing semantic and pragmatic accounts of irony are seriously defective. their theory makes no reference to the notion of figurative meaning and involves no substitution mechanism (Sperber and Wilson. the violation of the maxim of truthfulness is not necessary for ironical interpretation because of the existence of ironical questions. 1991:551). Their theory is not based on the assumption that the literal meaning of an ironical utterance is the opposite of its intended meaning. patent falsehood or irrelevance is not a sufficient condition for irony because not every false or irrelevant utterance can be interpreted as ironical. Also.literally say. For them. Moreover. because it differs from traditional theories only in the substitution mechanism. this theory neither provides a definition of figurative meaning and a mechanism for deriving it. Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 551) suggest that rhetorical judgements are ultimately based on intuition and they may be affected by explicit teaching or conscious theorizing. Consider example (32) for illustration: (32)"what lovely weather". Second. and ironical references to the inappropriateness or irrelevance of an utterance rather than to the fact that it is false. Grice (1975) asserts that ironical utterances would conversationally implicate. 41 . To provide a better account of irony. almost every utterance is ambiguous even if we consider the literal meaning only. However.

the abstractness of the notion of irony results in the mistake of not taking irony itself as the object of investigation and confining the study to standard cases of irony. which is said by someone caught in a downpour. However. According to Sperber and Wilson (1981: 552). (35) I'm glad we didn't bother to bring an umbrella. They add that there are many utterances that can be "more or less loosely called ironical". which must not simply reflect conscious explicitly defined categories. ironical. and the perceived similarities among them. Sperber and Wilson opt for looking for intuitive relationships among the data and intuitive ways of grouping them. the basic facts to be accounted for are the particular effects produced by particular utterances. Utterance (32) is reproduced here as (33). it is the definition of irony which is directly responsible for the judgements which confirm it. So. (34) It seems to be raining. (40) Did you remember to bring in the washing? 42 .Sperber and Wilson's preceding example shows that anyone who has been taught the traditional definition of irony (saying one thing and meaning the opposite) would consider utterance (32). (38) It seems to be thundering. (39) I'm sorry we didn't bother to bring an umbrella. Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 553) provide eight cases of utterances exchanged between two people caught in a downpour in order to make their analysis explicit. (36) Did you remember to water the flowers? (37) What awful weather. (33) What lovely weather.

involve (generally implicit) mention of a proposition . These cases of mention are interpreted as echoing a remark or opinion that the speaker wants to characterize as ludicrously inappropriate or irrelevant.Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 554) consider that the speaker of (33)-(36) dissociates himself from the content of his utterance because it is clearly false (33 and 35) or clearly irrelevant (34 and 36). 43 . they (ibid:559) maintain that all standard cases of irony . echoic mention is used to indicate that the preceding utterance has been heard and understood . In general.It expresses the hearer's immediate reaction to it and does not intend to inform anyone of the content of a preceding utterance. and it can be either implicit or explicit. Sperber and Wilson call this distinction a distinction between the “use” and “mention” of an expression. it is more accurate to interpret irony as an echoic mention. The first involves reference to what the expression refers to. because they are difficult to identify. They add that mention of a proposition is harder to identify than the mention of a linguistic expression. and implicit mention is harder to identify than explicit mention . This crucial distinction is missed by both standard semantic and pragmatic accounts of irony .The latter do not make a distinction between the ironical utterance (33) and the literal utterance (37).Therefore. They add that (33) – (36) express an attitude of the speaker to the content of his utterance.and many that are not standard from the traditional point of view . and the second involves reference to the expression itself. gives a more detailed description of a much wider range of examples of irony than the traditional account can handle. it is nevertheless suggested. which makes no appeal to the notion of figurative meaning. On the basis of the above. whereas (37)-(40) express an attitude of the speaker to what his utterance is about. Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 555) point out that mention can be of a linguistic expression or a proposition. For Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 556-558). In their view. Sperber and Wilson (ibid) add that when the echoic character of the utterance is not immediately obvious. Sperber and Wilson (ibid) maintain that ironical utterances are an example of implicit mention of propositions which have so far been overlooked or misinterpreted. this account. the most difficult case to identify is the implicit mention of a proposition.

Sperber and Wilson maintain that ironical utterances convey not only propositions. their analysis of irony as a case of echoic mention crucially involves the evocation of an attitude of the speaker to the proposition mentioned. implicature. his tone. their account. assumes that there is a necessary semantic condition for an utterance to be ironical. Finally. but also vaguer suggestions of images and attitudes. as they claim. It must be a case of mention in order to be distinguished from cases where the same proposition is used in order to make an assertion. such as literal use.Sperber and Wilson (1981: 557) assert that the recognition of an ironical utterance as a case of mention (not use) is crucial to its interpretation. unlike Grice's. the implicatures follow by standard reasoning processes. Thus. 44 . and why they exist. and so on. their analysis differs from both the semantic and the logical-pragmatic approaches which claim that an ironical utterance consists solely of propositions intended by the speaker and recoverable by the hearer. The latter cannot be made entirely explicit in propositional form. To conclude. etc. Therefore. the understanding of irony has nonpropositional and nondeductive aspects. Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 562) consider that their theory. and that once the speaker has recognized this. ask a question. and the immediate context. Therefore. Furthermore. In fact. and has seen the speaker's attitude to the proposition mentioned. This semantic distinction is crucial to the explanation of how ironical utterances are interpreted. Sperber and Wilson suggest that a logical-pragmatic theory dealing with the interpretation of utterances as an inferential process must be supplemented by what they call a " rhetorical-pragmatic". or "rhetorical" theory dealing with evocation. fits more naturally into Grice's overall framework than the account he himself proposes. and it appeals to independently motivated concepts. The speaker's attitude to the proposition mentioned is indicated by his choice of words.

We have also shown how “metaphor” and “irony” are examples of the nonliteral use of language. 45 . 1979) inferential strategy for working out the metaphorical meaning of a metaphorical utterance. Our task in the next chapter is to deal with the thorny issue of metaphorical irony. In these two cases. we have seen that “sentence meaning” is not always the same as “utterance meaning”. on Grice’s principles of linguistic communication. which regulate our talk exchanges.7.1. the inferential strategy for computing the meaning of a metaphorical utterance that is used ironically. we are going to provide a detailed discussion of Searle's (1977. we are going to discuss the phenomenon of “irony” and choose an adequate pragmatic approach that can handle it effectively. In addition to that. Finally. we examined different strategies for working out both the metaphorical meaning and the ironical meaning. 1979) theory of metaphor. and how this utterance is used in rational communicative activities. These strategies are based. mainly. This synthesis will hopefully yield the principles on which metaphorical irony is based. we are going to synthesize the preceding approach and Searle's (1977. “sentence meaning” is different from “utterance meaning”. After that. For this purpose. Conclusion: The previous review of the literature reveals that the understanding of any utterance depends on the context in which it is used. Therefore.

Chapter two: Combining Searle's Theory of Metaphor and Grice's Theory of Implicature. 46 .

Searle (ibid) maintains that the metaphorical meaning of a sentence depends on its literal meaning. In order to achieve his goal.0. He begins by drawing a distinction between the "literal meaning" and the "metaphorical meaning" of a metaphorical utterance.Introduction : In this chapter.1. and that the sentences and words. Our ultimate goal is to develop an adequate approach to the analysis of metaphorical irony by formulating the type of inferential strategy which the hearer. Literal Utterance versus Metaphorical Utterance: Searle (1979:76-77) states that in metaphorical utterances. This allows Searle to formulate the inferential strategy on which the metaphorical interpretation is based.For this purpose. Searle's Theory of Metaphor: The main goal of Searle's (1977. In a next step.1. we shall rely on Searle's (1977. in principle. 1979) theory of metaphor is to determine the principles that relate the literal sentence meaning to the metaphorical utterance meaning. metaphorical irony .1. used metaphorically. namely.1979) theory of metaphor. 2. the speaker means metaphorically something different from what the sentence means literally. or that metaphor is paraphrasable. such as that metaphor is equivalent to a statement of similarity. 2.2. This leads him to draw a distinction between “word (or sentence) meaning” and “speaker’s utterance meaning”. Grice's (1975) notion of irony. and Sperber and Wilson's (1981) theory of irony. Searle starts by providing a clear characterization of the concept of "metaphor". 47 . he proposes a clear and general formulation of the problem of metaphor that is consistent with the task and objectives of his theory of metaphor before he attempts to relieve metaphor of a number of misconceptions. uses for working out the intended meaning of a metaphorical utterance that is used ironically. we attempt to develop an adequate theory that would enable us to account successfully for a rather illusive aspect of pragmatic meaning.

The notion of similarity plays a crucial role in any account of the literal predication. 3. Searle (ibid: 76-81) asserts that. 2. The latter only determines a definite set of truth conditions against a background of factual assumptions which are not explicitly realized in the semantic structure of the sentence. Searle (ibid:84) concludes that the understanding of literal utterances. even in literal utterances. same. The literal meaning of a sentence only determines a set of truth conditions relative to a set of background assumptions that are not part of the semantic content of the sentence.have only the meanings that they have because the metaphorical meaning represents “possible speaker’s intentions”. Thus. unlike metaphorical utterances. let us consider example (1): (1) “Sally is tall”. a sentence only determines a set of truth conditions against certain factual background assumptions that are not explicitly realized in the semantic structure of the sentence. Sally can correctly be described as “tall” even though she is shorter than a giraffe that could correctly be described as short. Thus. does not require any extra knowledge beyond the 48 The literal sentence meaning and the speaker’s utterance meaning are the . the speaker must contribute more to the literal utterance than just the semantic content of the sentence. Searle (ibid: 81) notes that literal utterances are characterized by three aspects: 1. The preceding literal utterance contains the relative term “tall”. in most cases. To illustrate.

2. on the one hand . the awareness of the conditions of utterance. or some factual information that would enable him to figure out that when the speaker says “S is P”. in metaphor. In order to solve this problem. he (ibid) identifies three specific elements in the analysis of metaphorical predication: 1. However. in metaphorical utterances. The subject expression “S” and the object or objects it is used to refer to. The speaker’s utterance meaning “S” is “R” and the truth conditions determined by that meaning. 2.knowledge of the rules of language. The predicate expression “P” that is uttered and the literal meaning of that expression with its corresponding truth conditions. 2. In fact.For Searle (ibid). Searle (ibid: 83-84) proposes a general formula of the metaphorical utterance as follows: "A speaker utters a sentence of the form S is P and means metaphorically that S is R ". and speaker's meaning or utterance meaning . sentence meaning and speaker's meaning are different. Searle (ibid) concludes that the identification of the principles that relate sentence meaning to utterance (metaphorical) meaning can be 49 . sentence meaning and utterance meaning are different. the hearer needs other principles. Using this general formulation.1. Searle (1977. the main problem of metaphor concerns the relations between word or sentence meaning . However. 1979) makes it his task to identify and formulate such principles. Therefore. plus the denotation if there is any. 3. the problem of explaining how metaphors work is a "special case of the problem of how it is possible to say one thing and mean something else".The Problem of Understanding Metaphor : According to Searle (1979:76-77). and the set of shared background assumptions. Thus. on the other. he means “S is R”. there is a relation between them .

In the case of the metaphorical utterance (2a). when P plainly does not mean R? And how is it possible for the hearer who hears the utterance “S is P “to know that the speaker means “S is R “? From the above . and "courage".Searle's task. P . the speaker means and wants to communicate that: (2b) "Ahmed is courageous".achieved by answering the following two questions: How is it possible for the speaker to say metaphorically “S is P” and mean “S is R “. Searle(ibid) comes to the conclusion that the problem of metaphor concerns the characterization of the relations between the three sets S. the problem of explaining the metaphorical utterance (2a) concerns the relations between " Ahmed". is to determine the principles that speakers and hearers exploit when they utter "S is P" and both mean and communicate "S is R ". therefore. 50 . and R. and how do we move from the metaphorical utterance (2a) to the literal one (2b). in addition to the specification of other information and principles that enable the speaker to go from " S is P " to "S is R" . the "lion".Let us consider the following example for illustration: (2a)"Ahmed is a lion". According to Searle's generalization.

Metaphor and Similarity: Searle (1979:85) maintains that both the comparison theories.3. which claim that metaphor involves a verbal opposition or interaction between the semantic content of the expression used metaphorically and that of the surrounding literal context are inadequate. is best construed as an answer to the question of "given a range of possible values of R. as in utterance (3a): (3a)" Sally is a block of ice". He (Ibid: 106) asserts that the first theory is best construed as an attempt to answer the question of "how do we compute the possible values of R?" The second. he considers similarity as a "vacuous predicate" because. the meaning of a metaphorical statement cannot always be given by an explicit statement of similarity.1. Searle (ibid: 88) argues that "similarity has to do with the production and understanding of metaphor. how does the relationship between the S term and the P term restrict that range?" According to Searle (1979:86). "any two things are similar in some respect or other". the statement of similarity is not part of the meaning of a metaphorical utterance.2. for him. Second. however. 51 . Therefore. not as a component of meaning. which hold that metaphorical utterances involve a comparison or similarity between two or more objects. First. Searle (1979: 88-95) provides many arguments to substantiate his claim. not with its meaning ". and the semantic interaction theories. rather it is the "principle of inference" or a "step in the process of comprehending" metaphors. This explains why he regards similarity as playing a crucial role in the analysis of both literal and metaphorical utterances. a statement of similarity cannot be considered a necessary feature of metaphor because similarity functions as a comprehension strategy.

In fact. Paraphrasing and Metaphor : According to Searle (1979:81-83).The preceding utterance can be taken to mean: (3b)" Sally is unemotional". For example. 2. the metaphorical assertion is not an assertion of similarity. the metaphorical assertion can remain true even though it turns out that the statement of similarity on which the inference to the metaphorical meaning is based is false. However. it is not literally about gorillas. Finally. there do not seem to be any literal similarities between objects which are cold and people who are unemotional.1. utterance: (4a)"Richard is a gorilla" can be taken to mean: (4b)"Richard is fierce" even though gorillas are timid. the paraphrase of a metaphorical utterance expresses a large part of speaker's utterance meaning because the truth conditions of 52 . the metaphorical assertion is not necessarily an assertion of similarity. Third. though similarity often plays a role in the comprehension of metaphor. even where there are objects of comparison. This shows that utterance (4a) is just about Richard.4.

paraphrasing is a procedure that consists in the literal expression of the intended meaning of a metaphorical utterance. In fact. we may have an indefinite range of paraphrases. we "feel that the paraphrase is somehow inadequate.the metaphorical utterance and its paraphrase are the same. Therefore. the paraphrase (5b) expresses literally what the speaker means when he utters the first sentence (5a) and means it metaphorically. According to Searle (ibid: 82). but it can not fully express it. Searle (ibid: 83) points out that. a metaphor loses its effect on the hearer. in this case. This is due to the fact that if paraphrased. and only if. Romeo's saying: 53 . the paraphrase must approximate the speaker's intended meaning. to go through any inferential strategy in order to grasp the intended meaning of the utterance. "the speaker's metaphorical assertion will be true if. the corresponding assertion using the "PAR" [paraphrase] sentence is true". To illustrate. paraphrasing a metaphorical utterance makes it lose its power. Searle (ibid) states that when we paraphrase an utterance. To illustrate. this intended meaning will be expressed directly by the corresponding paraphrase. In this example. In other words. that something is lost". The latter does not need. In fact. the metaphorical utterance (5a): (5a) "It's getting hot in here" corresponds to the paraphrase : (5b) "the argument that is going on is becoming more vituperative". in some cases.

54 . In metaphorical utterances. we state that S is R by way of going through the meaning of S is P. etc. however. A simple example provided by Searle is: (7) "The ship ploughed the sea". we do more than just state that S is R. However. whose truth conditions are not part of the conditions of the utterance. The latter metaphorical utterance can not be paraphrased even if it contains no obscurity. we find it difficult to give it a literal paraphrase because there are no literal expressions that convey its meaning. the metaphorical utterance does not only convey its truth conditions. Searle (ibid) asserts that metaphors compensate for these semantic gaps.(6a) "Juliet is the sun" can have many paraphrases. In other cases. even if we feel that we know exactly what the metaphor means. Searle (ibid: 114) explains the unparaphrasability of metaphorical utterances by the fact that the semantic content which occurs in the hearer's comprehension of the utterance cannot be reproduced without using the metaphorical expression. but it does so by way of another semantic content. Searle (ibid) argues that the paraphrase can no more than reproduce the truth conditions of the metaphorical utterance. (6c) "Juliet is far from being reached". such as: (6b) "Juliet is beautiful". Searle notes.

1.5. "the utterance of P calls to mind the meaning and . Usually . hence. (8c) "Sam is like a giant" 55 . These principles are as follows: Principle 1 : Things which are P are by definition R. when a speaker utters "S is P" and means metaphorically that "S is R" .Again.2. and sloppy. Searle (ibid : 107-111) thus attempts to identify the principles according to which the utterance calls the metaphorical meaning to mind and proposes nine such principles for the computation of the values of R . In our case. gluttonous. for example. etc" Searle (ibid: 107) notes that the principles 1 and 2 correlate metaphorical utterances with literal similes. in the special ways that metaphorical utterances have of calling other things to mind". the property R should be a salient or well. (9a) “Sam is a pig” will be taken to mean (9b) “Sam is filthy. the metaphorical utterance: (8a) “Sam is a giant" can be taken to mean the paraphrase: (8b) “Sam is big” because giants are by definition big. the truth conditions associated with R . Using this principle.known property of P things. if the metaphor works. The Principles of Metaphorical Interpretation: According to Searle (1979:104). R will be one of the salient defining characteristics of P . if the metaphor works. To illustrate. Principle2: Things which are P are contingently R .

56 . In fact. even though both speaker and hearer may know that R is false of P . small variations in the P term can create big differences in the R terms. in connection with principles 2 and 3. lazy. it is a fact about our sensibility. Principle 4: Things which are P are not R. that we just do perceive a connection. In example (9a). the metaphorical utterances: (12a) "I am in a black mood". so that P is associated in our minds with R properties. nonetheless. timid and sensitive. etc” although both speaker and hearer know that gorillas are . the meaning will be different.and (9c) "Sam is like a pig". Principle 3 : Things which are P are often said or believed to be R . prone to violence. (14a) "John is bitter". For example. whether culturally or naturally determined. (13a) "Mary is sweet". For example. nor are they like R things. etc". (11a) "Richard is a gorilla" can be taken to mean (11b)“Richard is mean. in fact . So. He (ibid: 108) maintains that. nor are they believed to be R. metaphor works in spite of the falsity of the shared background assumptions between a speaker and a hearer . if we replace the P term "pig" by "hog ". (10a) "Sam is a hog" might mean (10b) "Sam is fat.

pleasant. and are not believed to be like R things.To illustrate. timid. etc". but that his new status is like that of being an aristocrat. (13b)"Mary is gentle. there are no literal similarities on which these metaphors are based. Thus. In all the preceding examples. is restricted in its application and does not literally apply to S . the metaphorical utterance: (16) “You have become an aristocrat” can be said to someone who has just received a huge promotion. (15b)"The hours seemed (of varying degrees of duration) as we waited for the plane. nonetheless the conditions of being P are like the conditions of being R.(15a) "The hours crawled (dragged/ sped/ crept/ whizzed/…) by as we waited for the plane Can respectively mean: (12b) "I am angry and depressed". Utterance (16) does not mean that the person has personally become like an aristocrat. usually P . Principle 5: P things are not like R things. (14b) "John is resentful". Principle 6 : There are cases where P and R are the same or similar in meaning . but where one . we can metaphorically say: (17) “That parliament was addled” 57 .

but relational metaphors. Principle 7 : This is not a separate principle but a way of applying principles 1-6 to simple cases which are not of the form S is P . or otherwise associated with. we can refer to the British monarch as "the crown" and say metaphorically: (21) “The crown signed the treaty”. the container-contained relation. and metaphors of other syntactical forms such as those involving verbs and predicate adjectives . The “S” term does not restrict the range of possible R’s generated by the P terms. He has to find a relation (or property) that is similar to. For example. Principle 9 : When we say “S is P” .In this case the hearer has to go from “SP. For example.the different combinations of S and P create new R's . the relation or property literally expressed by the metaphorical expression P.relation S” to “SR-relation S” (not from “S is P “ to “S is R”). utterances: (19a) "Sam devours books ". 58 . This association allows us to say "S is P" and mean metaphorically “S is R”. (20a) "Washington was the father of his country" can be paraphrased as: (19b) "Sam reads a lot" (devouring is associated with a lot of consumption) (20b) "Washington cared a lot for his country" (the relation of a father to his children involves a lot of care and attention) Principle 8: P and R may be associated by such relations as the part-whole relation.or (18)" His brain is addled" even though the adjective "addled" is only said literally of eggs. or even the clothing and wearer relation.

For example. For example. The second set gives different metaphorical meanings from the first. In our examples. the values of R which are true of voices can not be true of arguments. 2. reproduced here as (24): (24) "Sam is a pig" recognizes that it is not intended literally because it is obviously false. This shows that the different combinations of S and P create new R's. 59 . Searle's Inferential Strategy: Searle (1979:78) states that "the knowledge that enables people to use and understand metaphorical utterances goes beyond their knowledge of the literal meanings of words and sentences". look for an utterance meaning that differs from sentence meaning. someone who hears our utterance (9a). In this case. Searle (ibid: 112) notes that this strategy can be applied provided that the speaker and hearer have shared linguistic and factual knowledge sufficient to enable them to communicate literal utterances.6. the hearer can use the principles 1-7 in order to compute the possible values of R. He (ibid: 105-106) proposes a strategy that involves three steps whereby the hearer can compute the metaphorical meaning of a metaphorical utterance.The different S terms restrict the values of R differently. (22) “Sam's voice is mud (gravel/ sandpaper/ …)" and (23)“Kant’s second argument for the transcendental deduction is so much mud(gravel/ sandpaper/ …)”.1. this hearer is led to seek a different meaning which is metaphorical. The strategy and the steps it involves are as follows: Step 1: Where the utterance is defective if taken literally. The latter can be true of a special S term but not of another S term which is different from the first. Therefore.

In fact. to find possible values of R . So. etc. the hearer has to go through the third step in order to restrict the range of possible R's and understand the metaphorical utterance. differently: (24) "Sam is a pig" and (25) "Sam's car is a pig". Redefining Irony: As we have seen in 1. 60 . and to fill in the respect in which S might be like P . sentence meaning and utterance meaning are contradictory. The latter features represent the possible values of R. filthy. the salient and well-known features of pigs is that they are gluttonous. slovenly. in the case of irony. Searle (ibid: 106) notes that "the hearer has to use his knowledge of S things and P things to know which of the possible values of R are plausible candidates for metaphorical predication". we are going to assume that. for example. Therefore. look for salient . most scholars maintain that irony involves the preceding semantic inversion. and distinctive features of P things. This knowledge allows the hearer to interpret the following metaphorical utterances.2. the range of these features is indefinite.6.1. Irony: 2. well-known . 2. In the preceding example. However. Step 3: Go back to the S term and see which of the many candidates for the values of R are likely or even possible properties of S.2.Step 2 : When you hear "S is P " . look for ways in which S might be like P.1. "irony" is a figure of speech that involves a contradiction between what is said and what is implied.

2. Therefore. For him (ibid). would conversationally implicate the literal utterance: (26b) "It is very cold". and considers it as a case of flouting the maxim of Quality. 1979) has identified the steps in addition to the principles that can be used in metaphorical interpretation. In fact. The Status of Irony in Grice's Theory of Implicature: Grice (1975:53) analyzes irony in terms of his conversational implicature. as uttered by a speaker on a freezing day. 61 . Therefore. The second is Grice's (1975) approach to the phenomenon of irony. we are going to base our analysis of metaphorical irony on two main approaches.2. His statement reveals that an ironical utterance like : (26a) "It is very hot". in the case of irony. the object of our study. We have selected this approach because it seems to be more systematic.Metaphorical irony. "the most obviously related proposition is the contradictory of the one he [the speaker] purports to be putting forward". is a special type of irony. It consists of a metaphorical utterance which is used ironically. The latter approach is the one that can be integrated in our overall pragmatic framework. which is a semantic condition for an utterance to be ironical. Searle (1977. 1979) approach to the phenomenon of metaphor.2. The first is Searle's (1977. we are not going to use Sperber and Wilson's (1981) theory of irony because this theory analyzes irony as a case of echoic mention.

3. Since it is grossly inappropriate. 62 . the hearer uses a pragmatic inference. both in irony and metaphor. The difference between metaphor and irony concerns the mechanisms by which they work. in order to grasp the speaker's intended (or ironical) meaning. According to Searle (ibid). Their basic principles are provided by the principles of conversation and the general rules for performing speech-acts. 2. speaker's meaning and sentence meaning are different. based on the assumption that the utterance is patently false if taken literally. Second. Grice views the flouting of the maxim of Quality as a necessary condition for any ironical interpretation. these two figures of speech do not require any conventions. In fact.In this example. Let us consider example (27a) for illustration: (27a) "You are very clever". is obviously inappropriate to the situation. if taken literally. In short. and the most natural way to interpret it is as meaning the opposite of its literal form". the hearer is compelled to reinterpret it in such a way as to render it appropriate. Grice's characterization of the phenomenon of irony yields two main facts: First. it is clear that the literal sentence meaning (26a) is the contradictory of the ironical utterance meaning (26b). Searle's Approach to the Phenomenon of Irony: Searle (1979:112-113) points out that there are similarities between the principles on which metaphor and irony work. extralinguistic or otherwise. the speaker of an ironical utterance intends to get across the contradictory of what he has literally said. in the case of irony. Also. "the utterance.2.

irony is a case of implicit mention of a proposition. For them (ibid: 556). utterance (27a). and the perceived similarities among these effects.Sperber and Wilson's Theory of Irony: Unlike Searle's (1977. after the 63 . Sperber and Wilson (1981) analyze irony as a case of echoic mention because.3.6. In fact. 2. As we have seen in 1. Sperber and Wilson (ibid: 557) maintain that. echoic mention expresses the hearer's immediate reaction to an utterance and does not intend to inform anyone of the content of a preceding utterance. They (ibid: 552) further argue that the study of irony must take into consideration the effects that particular utterances produce. So. Sperber and Wilson (1981) assert that ironical utterances do occasionally (but not always) implicate the opposite of what they literally say. 1979) and Grice's (1975) approaches to the phenomenon of irony. as said to somebody who has just given a stupid idea. must be interpreted as meaning: (27b) "You are very dull".4. an implicit mention is interpreted as echoing a remark or opinion that the speaker wants to characterize as ludicrously inappropriate or irrelevant. in their opinion (ibid: 554).2. the interpretation of ironical utterances can not be reduced to the search for conversational implicature. Therefore. For them (ibid: 553). It is important to note that Searle's analysis of the phenomenon of irony is based on the same mechanisms used by Grice (1975). They (ibid ) further argue that the idea that the implicature could contradict the literal sense of an utterance (as in irony) is not consistent with Grice's claim that implicatures act as premises in an argument that establishes that the speaker has observed the maxims of conversation. irony would be uninformative both on the level of what is said and what is implicated. if the main point of an ironical utterance is to convey the opposite of what is said. Sperber and Wilson (1981) do not consider the violation of the maxim of Qualitya necessary feature for ironical interpretation.Using Searle's mechanism.

In short. The statements of these two scholars reveal that the existence and use of metaphorical irony in the process of communication is possible. 2. Sperber and Wilson's (1981) theory assumes that there is a necessary semantic condition for an utterance to ironical: It must be a case of mention. the computation of the intended meaning of metaphorical irony consists of two stages of interpretation. and how it can be interpreted. helps the hearer determine the ironical meaning. but it should not be confused with them". So. This is the reason why we have not included this theory in our pragmatic approach to metaphorical irony. Grice (ibid) asserts that the hearer has first to go through the metaphorical meaning (28b) "You are my pride and joy" before he reaches the ironical meaning (28c) "You are my bane".3. According to Grice (ibid). To illustrate. their analysis involves the evocation of an attitude of the speaker to the proposition mentioned. Bergmann (1991:490) states that "metaphor does not interfere with other tropes or figures. Our task is to determine the principles on which metaphorical irony is based. the implicatures follow by standard reasoning processes. In order to analyze metaphorical irony (28a). The second stage. The first stage allows the hearer to reach the metaphorical meaning of the utterance. (28a) "You are the cream in my coffee". 64 .recognition of irony as a case of mention. Building a Relevant Inferential Strategy for Computing Metaphorical Irony: Grice (1975:53) argues that "it is possible to combine metaphor and irony by imposing on the hearer two stages of interpretation". on the other hand.

let us begin by working out an adequate inferential strategy that makes the interpretation of metaphorical irony possible. Therefore. he determines the salient. first. ignorance.). First. for example. After that. the hearer relies on Grice's general strategy for working out a conversational implicature (see 1. stupidity. Some of these features are. the hearer recognizes that this metaphorical meaning is patently false if taken literally.6).1. obesity.For example. a speaker X might talk to a hearer Y about Aicha (who is known for her ugliness. In order to calculate the intended meaning of utterance (29a). the hearer has. To do so. beauty.3. to use Searle's (1977. Therefore. 1979) inferential strategy for computing the metaphorical meaning (see 2. the hearer looks for ways in which "Aicha" might be like a "rose". the hearer interprets (29a) as: (29b) "Aicha is the most elegant girl in our village".4. In general. elegance. the hearer goes through the following steps: Step 1: The hearer recognizes that utterance (29a) is not literal because it would be obviously false if taken literally. Step 2: The hearer begins by computing the metaphorical meaning of the utterance. etc. and say: (29a) "Aicha is the rose of our village". he is led to seek an utterance meaning that differs from literal sentence meaning. lightness. This strategy allows the hearer to determine the metaphorical meaning of the utterance.). 65 . To do so. well-known. This leads him to reinterpret the metaphorical meaning of the utterance by doubling back so as to reach the inference that the speaker's ultimate meaning is the opposite of his metaphorical meaning.So. etc. and distinctive features of a rose.

he must be implying the opposite of the metaphorical meaning of his utterance. concludes that. the hearer is led again to the search for another meaning which differs from the metaphorical meaning (29b).Step 3: The hearer recognizes that the metaphorical interpretant (29b) flouts the maxim of quality. based on the shared factual background assumptions.4. which is obviously false. 2. however. consists of the reinterpretation of the metaphorical meaning in such a way as to reach the intended ironical meaning. The first level concerns the computation of the metaphorical meaning . Therefore.The second. assuming that the speaker observes the conversational maxims. unless the speaker's utterance is pointless. Based on the preceding analysis. the hearer reinterprets (29a) as: (29c) "Aich is the ugliest girl in our village". Our preceding example illustrates how the hearer understands that the speaker wants to convey the idea that (29c) by way of going through the metaphorical meaning (29b). Therefore. The initial utterance is (29a). The Constructed Inferential Strategy : From the analysis above. we can easily construct a general inferential strategy that can effectively account for metaphorical utterances that are used ironically . These two levels of interpretation can be summed up in the following four steps: 66 . Step 4: The hearer. we can conclude that the computation of the intended meaning of metaphorical irony involves two main levels of interpretation.

The first is Searle's (1977. Step 2: The hearer begins by computing the metaphorical meaning of the utterance using Searle's principles of metaphorical interpretation (see2. Step 3: After having worked out the intended metaphorical meaning of the utterance. Conclusion: In this chapter. the hearer realizes that this meaning is inappropriate to the situation because it flouts the maxim of Quality. he must be implying the opposite of the metaphorical meaning of his utterance. and distinctive features of P in order to determine the possible values of R. we have developed an inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony.he works out the intended metaphorical meaning of the utterance. he restricts the range of possible R's to the ones that are most likely to be properties of S in context and. Then. First.Step 1: The hearer recognizes that if the utterance is taken literally. Step 4: The hearer. recognizes that. he tries to determine the salient.5.1. Since the hearer assumes that the speaker observes the cooperative principle.). well-known. based on the shared factual background assumptions. The latter states that participants in a talk exchange should "try to make [their] contribution one that is true" ( see 1. This is the major reason that leads the hearer to look for an utterance meaning that is different from the literal sentence meaning. 1979) inferential strategy for working out the metaphorical meaning of an utterance.5.1). he is led again to the search for another meaning which differs from the metaphorical meaning of the utterance. unless the speaker's utterance is pointless. the proposition it expresses will be obviously false. in this way . 2. the hearer concludes that the speaker's utterance is not only metaphorical. Therefore. on the other 67 . The second. but also ironical.4. We have attempted to combine two inferential strategies.

We have selected the preceding strategies because they seem to be systematic and are integrated in our overall pragmatic framework. In the next chapter.hand. 68 . is Grice's (1975) strategy for computing the ironical meaning. Our purpose is to test the explanatory power of this strategy and examine its limitations. we are going to apply our approach to metaphorical irony to a sample of data from Moroccan Arabic.

Chapter three: Application of the Suggested Inferential Strategy 69 .

4).0. We have come to the conclusion that in order to compute the intended meaning of metaphorical irony. 70 . The first two steps enable the hearer to work out the metaphorical meaning. we have attempted in the preceding chapter to develop an inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical utterances that are used ironically.1.This is uttered by the speaker S to the hearer H. Introduction: Based on Searle's (1977. and on Grice's (1975) theory of Implicature on the other. 3. In this chapter. The contexts in which the examples are used are also provided. (1) tbark LLah çlik ! rak musuça w Safi ("God bless you! You are a real encyclopedia"). The Moroccan Arabic data are translated semantically into English. on the one hand. Our data which consist of metaphorical utterances used ironically are collected by writing down genuine speech acts performed by Moroccan speakers in natural situations.3.who has just said that "Paris is the capital of Italy". The purpose is to test the explanatory power of our inferential strategy and identify its limitations. the hearer has to follow four steps. we intend to apply the inferential strategy that we have constructed in chapter two to a set of data from Moroccan Arabic. whereas the last two allow him to compute the ironical meaning of the utterance (see 2. They are transcribed according to the transcription system provided on page (V) of this monograph.Presentation of Data: Our data consist of speech-acts performed by Moroccan Arabic speakers. 1979) inferential strategy for working out the metaphorical meaning of metaphorical utterances.

does not like reading at all. (5)jilali qalbu Hlib (Jilali's heart is milk). (6)Daher leHya çla wjeh eTTeRRaH (Shyness shows on the baker boy's face"). who maitains that his ultimate goal in life is to help the others. The husband comments on Hassan's failure in the final high school exam. This is said by S to H about Khadija. This is uttered by S to H about Jamal's step-mother. who feins shyness . (9)xadija kaTeyer Lurdinatur ("Khadija flies the computer") . (3) Hasan Teyyara fleqraya. bearing in mind that the wife used to defend Hassan. (10) Hmed kayTHen lektuba (Ahmed grinds books). a very selfish. (7) jalal w jawad xut (Jalal and Jawad are brothres ). 71 . (8) xelSa smina &adi yeçTewak (They will really offer you a fat salary). who has accepted a very low-paying job. who. in fact. (4) jamal mummu çiniha (Jamal is the pupil of her eye). as uttered by a TV viewer after a terrible defeat of the Moroccan national football team. saying that he was studying hard. ("Hassan is a jet in studying". Both S and H know that Jilali is. This is uttered by S to H in the presence of Jilali. treacherous. and grudging person. This utterance is said by S to H. Both the speaker and the hearer know that the stepmother hates Jamal and treats him very badly. who are known to be sworn enemies.(2) hadu huma ?usud l?aTLaS wa ?illa fa la !("These are the real Atlas lions!"). who is very slow in word processing. This is uttered by a husband to his wife in the presence of their son Hassan. in fact.).This is uttered by S to H.This is said about Jawad and Jalal. This is said about Ahmed.

the speaker's ultimate intended meaning is not the metaphorical meaning. ). In fact. This utterance is made by a student who could not find the right solution to a difficult math problem. the first step in our inferential strategy consists in looking for a relevant utterance meaning that is different from the literal sentence meaning. [we should] look for an utterance meaning that differs from sentence meaning".1979) principles of metaphorical interpretation .4. (14) hdertu Hluwa bezzaf ("His talk is very sweet"). Searle (1979:105) states that "where the utterance is defective if taken literally. Data Analysis : To test the explanatory power of our inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony. This is a response by a hopeless S to an H. (12) mirikan m§at lçiraq ba§ teHmi Huquq l?insan (America went to Iraq in order to defend human rights).the hearer of such utterances has first to work out the metaphorical meaning of the utterance. but rather the ironic meaning.(11) lHukuma &adi txeddem jmiç lmuçaTTalin (The government will employ all the jobless degree holders).2. 72 . 3. because all the utterances above are false if taken literally. (13) had ttemrin dyal lmaT Hlu bezzaf (This math exercise is very sweet). In this sense. and . we must apply it to the analysis of the data presented above. using Searle's (1977. reinterpret the metaphorical meaning of the utterance as intended to convey the opposite of the metaphorical meaning. as they are watching the news bulletin showing all kinds of abuse committed against the Iraqi prisoners by the American soldiers at the "Abu-gharib" prison . then. This is said about somebody whose talk is actually very boring and disgusting.This is said by S to his friend H. who is happy about the news that the government will employ fifty percent of the unemployed degree holders by the end of the year 2005. As we have shown earlier (see 2.

in the light of the shared knowledge between S and H . However. which is based on the shared background assumptions between the speaker and the hearer. the defining characteristic of an encyclopedia is that it contains a lot of information. H relies on Searle's first principle of metaphorical interpretation. In utterance (1). the hearer is forced to reinterpret (1a) as: (1b) "You are a very ignorant person". Similarly. However. must not be taken literally because it flouts the maxim of Quality.From the above. Therefore. Utterance (1) is a case of simple metaphor of the form S is P meaning S is R. the hearer uses principle two. To work out the R value. So. which states that "things which are P are by definition R". H interprets (1) as: (1a)"You are a very learned person". Therefore. states that "the property R should be a salient or well-known property of P things". which stands for a thing. we can deduce that utterance (1): (1) tbark LLah çlik ! rak musuça w Safi ("God bless you! You are a real encyclopedia"). in order to work out the metaphorical meaning. utterances (2) and (3) are interpreted following the same steps as utterance (1). the speakers of: 73 . Therefore. In fact. H will realize that the interpretation of (1) as (1a) is inappropriate in context because only an ignorant person would say that Paris is the capital of Italy. we cannot literally address a human being by the name "Encyclopedia". and that R is "one of the defining characteristics of P". This principle. the hearer starts by interpreting the utterance metaphorically.

whether culturally or naturally determined. etc. bravery. the well-known property of a "jet" is that it is the quickest and most efficient means of transportation. it is a fact about our sensibility. (2a) is grossly inappropriate to the situation because the football team has just been defeated. that we just do perceive a 74 . nor are they like R things. This leads the hearer to the conclusion that the speaker's ultimate intended meaning is: (2b)"These are the weakest football players". when the speaker utters (2). Therefore. nor are they believed to be R. However. Concerning utterance (3). The wellknown properties of lions are strength.(2) hadu huma ?usud l?aTLaS wa ?illa fa la ! ("These are the real Atlas lions!") and (3) Hasan Teyyara fleqraya ("Hassan is a jet in studying") intend their hearers to grasp the intended meaning of their utterances by determining the well-known properties of the "Atlas lions "and he means: (2a)"These are the strongest players". the hearer reinterprets this utterance as: (3b) "Hassan is a slow learner" "jets" respectively. Due to the ostentatious falsity of (3a). So. the hearer understands (3) as: (3a) "Hassan is a quick and efficient learner". nonetheless. Searle (1979) also states that there are cases where "things which are P are not R.

the hearer computes the intended 75 . However.connection. the eye's pupil is associated with valuable elements. H understands that S wants to convey the idea that: (4b) "Jamal is the object of her hatred". the hearer interprets utterance: (5)jilali qalbu Hlib (Jilali's heart is milk) as (5a) "Jilali is very friendly" because. This statement represents Searle's principle 4. in our minds. (5a) is clearly a false description of Jilali. so that P is associated in our minds with R properties". in our minds. Therefore. milk meaning of (5) as: (5b) "Jilali is very mean". Following the same strategy . is associated with positive things . utterance: (4) jamal mummu çiniha (Jamal is the pupil of her eye) is interpreted as : (4a) " Jamal is very dear to her " because . As the step-mother is very unkind towards Jamal. which is relevant to our utterances 4 and 5. Therefore.

Therefore . Utterance (7) does not mean that Jalal and Jawad are like brothers .The latter states that "P things are not like R things. 76 . Since the falsity of (6a) and (7a) is obvious in these two situations. the hearer reinterprets them as: (6b) “You are a bold person” and (7b) “Jalal and Jawad are enemies”.Utterances: (6)Daher leHya çla wjeh eTTeRRaH (Shyness shows on the baker boy's face") and (7) jalal w jawad xut (Jalal and Jawad are brothres) can be interpreted using principle 5. in utterance (6). However. the hearer is not like a baker and Jalal is not like Jawad's brother and are not believed to be so. In our two cases. and are not believed to be like R things. nonetheless the conditions of being P are like the conditions of being R". the state or condition of H.which is represented by the reddening of the face . but that their relationship is like that of brothers. utterances (6) and (7) are interpreted as : (6a) “You are a shy person” and (7a) “ Jalal and Jawad are good friends”. is like the condition of a baker who always faces the fire.

the relation or property literally expressed by the metaphorical expression P”. H reinterprets (8a) as: (8b) “You will be given an insignificant salary”. of people. is restricted in its application and does not literally apply to S”. Therefore. utterances: (9)xadija kaTeyer Lurdinatur ("Khadija flies the computer") and (10) Hmed kayTHen lektuba (Ahmed grinds books) 77 .Principle 6 applies successfully to utterance (8): (8) xelSa smina &adi yeçTewak. the adjective “smina” (fat) is not said literally of salaries but. Utterances (9) and (10) can best be dealt with using principle 7. which states that to determine the metaphorical meaning .the hearer “has to find a relation or property that is similar to . usually P. but where one. Therefore. Due to the ostentatious falsity of the metaphorical meaning (8a). most of the time. (They will really offer you a fat salary). or otherwise associated with . This principle states that “there are cases where P and R are the same or similar in meaning. H understands (8) as: (8a) “You will be given a very big salary”. In utterance (8).

Therefore. these utterances are inappropriate to their situations. These two utterances mean : (11a) “The political leaders will employ all the jobless degree holders” 78 . Again. it is the most convenient to deal with utterances: (11) lHukuma &adi txeddem jmiç lmuçaTTalin (The government will employ all the jobless degree holders) and (12) mirikan m§at lçiraq ba§ teHmi Huquq l?insan (America went to Iraq in order to defend human rights).are interpreted as (9a) “Khadija is a very quick typist” and (10a) “Ahmed reads books thoroughly and continuously” because “flying” is associated with high speed and “grinding” is associated with complete division and the seeing of the parts that are hidden. Principle 8 states that “P and R may be associated by such relations as the partwhole relation. respectively. or even the clothing and wearer relation”. as: (9b) “Khadija is a slow typist” and (10b) “Ahmed never reads”. the container-contained relation. This leads the hearer to work out the ultimate intended meanings of (9) and (10).

the relation between the “government” and the “political leaders” is that of the container-contained relation. ("His talk is very sweet") 79 . and the relation between “America” and “the soldiers” is a part-whole relation.and (12a) “The American soldiers went to Iraq in order to defend human rights”. The next step that the hearer goes through in order to work out the ultimate intended meaning of utterances (11) and (12) is to reinterpret them as the opposite of (11a) and (12a). Therefore. the hearers of (11) and (12) grasp the ultimate intended meanings of these two utterances as: (11b) “The political leaders will not employ anyone” and (12b) “The American soldiers have gone to Iraq in order to offend human rights”. In fact. Utterances: (13) had ttemrin dyal lmaT Hlu bezzaf (This math exercise is very sweet) and (14) hdertu Hluwa bezzaf .

the adjective “Hlu” (sweet)is interpreted differently in these two utterances. 80 . we have dealt with metaphorical utterances that are used ironically. and are literally true if asserted . In all the examples above.can be interpreted (using principle 4 ) as: (13a) “This math exercise is very easy” and (14a) “His speech is pleasant” .the different combinations of S and P create new R's. the hearers of (13) and (14) work out the ultimate intended meanings of these two utterances as: (13b) “This math exercise is very difficult” and (14b) “His speech is unpleasant”. All those examples are assessable in terms of truth and falsity. Therefore.Our inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony proved to be powerful in dealing with this type of utterances. Searle’s principle 9 accounts for this difference. After the computation of the metaphorical meaning. The latter states that When we say “S is P” .

Let us consider the following utterances: (15) xalid weld nnaas ( Khalid comes from a good family). Utterance (16) ra ma kayçaD§ ( It does not bite ) 81 . fly till you reach Taza). and (2) those that are literally true if asserted. (17) wa§ hada Sarux wla §nu? (Is this a missile or what?) .3. (16) ra ma kayçaD§ ( It does not bite ). Some Limitations of the Suggested Inferential Strategy: Our task now is to apply our inferential strategy to two categories of utterances: (1) Those that do not have a truth-value. who wants to prepare for the exam in one week . (18) Teri a djaja Hta ltaza (You. Utterances (15) and (16) are literally true if asserted by the hearer: Utterance (15) xalid weld nnaas( Khalid comes from a good family) is true because the offspring of human beings is a human being. who knows that Khalid cheated S.This question is asked by a viewer about a slow athlete who is lagging behind professional athletes in a race.3. This utterance is said by S to H.This is spoken to an H who hesitates to hand a dictionary to his friend. This is uttered by S to H. the hen.

he looks for the well-known properties of P. So. In utterance (15). etc". which represent what Marinich (1991:510) calls "nonstandard metaphors".1) . "wlad nnaas" (people coming from good families) are assumed to be gentle. Therefore. the speaker might mean: (16a) "the dictionary is not harmful". But this interpretation does not apply to Khalid who is known to be a mean person. the first step of our inferential strategy cannot be applied to these two utterances. normally. there are no dictionaries that bite.Therefore. gentle. So the speaker gets the metaphorical meaning: (15a) "Khaled is good-mannered. which are literally true if asserted. he concludes that these two utterances must be intended metaphorically in order for them not to flout the maxim of Quantity and thus be defective. because it is inappropriate to the situation. namely "do not make your contribution more informative than is required"(see 1. (15a) is reinterpreted as: (15b) "Khaled is unkind. the salient characteristics of the creatures that bite is that they are animate creatures. In order to understand utterances (15) and (16) in their context of use. etc. the hearer assumes. Therefore. goodmannered. However (16a) flouts the maxim of Quantity. kind. treacherous. the hearer supposes that the propositions they express are false and considers their consequences. on the basis of the shared background knowledge. In utterance (16) .4. etc".is also true because . that the speaker might imply: (16b) "There is no reason to hesitate in passing the dictionary". helpful. 82 . Once the hearer establishes that these two utterances are intended metaphorically. Therefore.

on the basis of the relevant context and shared background information. he is ". H concludes that .Utterance (17): (17) wa§ hada Sarux wla §nu? (Is this a missile or what?) can not be assessed in terms of truth and falsity because it has the form of a question. However. the appropriate answer to which would be "yes. a question is a request for information. Therefore. the athlete is as slow as a tortoise. which is a kind of proverb. This exaggerated implicit comparison stands in sharp contrast with the slow movement of the referent. Therefore. H knows that S does not mean his utterance as a question. he isn't". From the standard point of view. in order for S's utterance to make sense in the relevant context. In fact. it is obvious to H and S that the referent is not a missile. The salient characteristic of a hen is that it is weak and does not have the ability to fly any significant distance. S addresses H by the word "djaja" (hen). or "no. a metaphorical interpretation of (17) is sought which would be equivalent to the positive statement that "The athlete is fast like a missile or something else which is perhaps faster". utterance: (18) Teri a djaja Hta ltaza (You. In the preceding utterance. that is to say. the hen. the first step of our inferential strategy can not be applied to this utterance. Similarly . fly till you reach Taza) can not be assessed in terms of truth and falsity because it is a command. it must be interpreted as meaning the opposite of what it conveys metaphorically. H understands that S wants to convey the idea that he (H) is weak and that it is impossible for him to prepare for 83 . Therefore. Therefore.

we have applied our inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony to a set of data from Moroccan Arabic. the hearer has to look for an utterance meaning that differs from literal sentence meaning. This condition can be replaced by the requirement of the search for a different utterance meaning when the literal sentence meaning is irrelevant or inappropriate to the context. To improve our strategy. must be changed. What is ironical about (18) is that H incites S to try preparing for the exam in one week and . From the above. However. 3. Our goal has been to test the ability of our strategy to account for a different type of 84 .the exam in one week. at the same time. Conclusion: In this chapter. our inferential strategy will retain the four steps that we have presented in chapter two (see 2. we can deduce that our inferential strategy for working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony cannot be applied to utterances that are literally true if asserted and those that do not have a truth-value. we can replace Grice's maxim of Quality by Martinich's (1991:516) maxim: "Do not participate in a speech act unless you satisfy all the conditions for its successful and nondefective performance". Therefore. Improving the Inferential Strategy: Our inferential strategy for computing the intended meaning of metaphorical utterances that are used ironically is based on the assumption that if the utterance is literally false. the condition of flouting the maxim of Quality in step1 and step3.4. it is not surprising that this strategy fails to account for utterances that are literally true and those that do not have a truth-value. which was considered the major reason that leads the hearer to look for an utterance meaning that differs from literal sentence meaning. tells him that he is unable to do so.4). 3.5. Therefore.

the inappropriateness of an utterance in a special context that leads the hearer to look for an utterance meaning that differs from literal sentence meaning. it is. We can. In fact.utterances than the ones we have considered in chapter two . 85 . The limitations of our inferential strategy are due to the fact that Searle's (1979) theory of metaphor and Grice's (1975) analysis of irony have focused only on standard utterances that flout the maxim of Quality. on which our inferential strategy is based.In fact. generally speaking. our strategy proves to be deficient. therefore. is not involved in every metaphorical or ironical interpretation. However. when applied to utterances that are literally true or to those that do not have truth-value. our data analysis has revealed that this strategy succeeds in dealing with the utterances that are literally false if asserted. conclude that the flouting of the maxim of Quality.

Our ultimate objective has been to explain the mental processes involved in the production and understanding of metaphorical irony. we have shown that a distinction should be made between “sentence meaning” and “utterance meaning”. we had first to understand "metaphor" and "irony". We have come to the conclusion that while a “sentence” is a unit of grammatical analysis. The main objective of chapter two has been to develop an inferential strategy for the purpose of working out the intended meaning of metaphorical irony. and ironical speech-acts. we have reviewed Searle's (1975b. we have provided a general definition of the term before we undertook a review of Sperber and Wilson's (1981) theory of irony. and how this figure of speech can successfully be used in the process of communication. Searle's (1977. in particular. Concerning metaphor. and Grice's (1975) theory of linguistic communication. 1979) "A Taxonomy of Illocutionary Acts". because. we have reviewed Austin's (1962) speech-act theory. A General Conclusion: The aim of this research paper has been to provide an account of the way in which the phenomenon of indirect speech-acts. To understand the phenomenon of metaphorical irony. in general.4. and metaphorical irony. This review has helped us understand speech-act theory and paved the way for the discussion of such phenomena as indirect speech-acts. This distinction has led us to provide a working definition for Pragmatics. In chapter one. 1979) theory of indirect speech-acts. We have attempted to build our strategy on the basis of Searle's (1977. because metaphorical irony is a metaphorical utterance that is used ironically. and of metaphorical speech-acts. in general. Davidson (1991). 1979) theory of metaphor and Grice's (1975) theory of conversational implicature. we have reviewed the works of such scholars as Searle (1977. in our 86 . an “utterance” is a unit of pragmatic analysis. Bergmann (1991). For irony. our domain of study. 1979). To understand the phenomenon of indirect speechacts. After that. in particular. are understood in every day language use. and Martinich (1991).

which are devised to deal exclusively with those utterances that are literally false if asserted. when it comes to the utterances that are literally true if asserted. chapter1). Finally. respectively. These steps are the basis of our inferential strategy for the computation of the intended meaning of metaphorical utterances that are used ironically. considers the irrelevance of an utterance in the course of a talk exchange as the major reason that leads the hearer to seek an utterance meaning that differs from the literal sentence meaning. Therefore. thereby overlooking the other types of utterances. and it requires a great deal of inferential power on the part of the hearer. these theories are more systematic and more appealing than the other theories we have reviewed (cf. Our data analysis has shown that our inferential strategy can successfully deal with those utterances that are literally false. if asserted. This explanatory deficiency is due to the fact that this strategy is based on Searle's (1977. This is due to the fact that it is more difficult to understand.” This maxim. I would like to conclude my monograph by stating that metaphorical irony is a very efficient means of communication. we have tried to improve our strategy by replacing Grice's (1975) maxim of Quality by Martinich's (1991) maxim: “Do not participate in a speech act unless you satisfy all the conditions for its successful and nondefective performance. We have identified four steps that the mind goes through in the process of computing the intended meaning of metaphorical irony.view. we have tested the ability of our inferential strategy to account for a set of data from Moroccan Arabic. which is inclusive of all kinds of utterances. both Searle (1977.1979) theory of metaphor and Grice's (1975) theory of conversational implicature. In Chapter three. However. its effect on the hearer's mind is greater because it forces him to make an effort in order to grasp its intended meaning. this strategy loses its explanatory power. and those utterances that do not have a truth-value. 1979) and Grice (1975) have provided us with the necessary steps for the computation of the intended meaning of metaphor and irony. In fact. The efficiency of metaphorical utterances that are used ironically becomes apparent when comparing 87 .

So. not as powerful as the metaphorical utterances that are used ironically. In fact. 88 .them to their literal counterparts. the meaning of literal utterances is readily graspable. We can conclude from this that literal utterances have little effect on the hearer’s mind and are. the latter utterances might fail to capture the hearer’s attention and interest. therefore.

Mass. (1975a).(1979:1-29). (1990). (Editor) (1991).Urmson and M.(1962.New York: Academic Press. Pp.P. Searle. In Searle. In Searle. A. "A Theory of Metaphor". Searle. Searle.5.O.S. Searle.C. (1991). 1965. D. Steven. Metaphor. J. Cambridge. In Davis (1991: 495-506) Davis.Bibliography.R. (1975b). Pragmatics: A Reader. Terence. "Indirect Speech Acts". By J. Sbisa.R.(1979:30-75). Seattle and London : University of Washington Press. J.(1965). Ernst. In Philosophy in America. Levinson. (1989). London: Methuen &Co. J. Oxford: Oxford University Press Grice.Irony and the Discourse of Modernity. Linguistics. Cornwell University Press. Ltd. (1977). D. (1975: 41-58).L. How to Do Things with Words. Austin. Great Britain: Penguin Books. Crystal. J.R.221-39. Donald. Merrie. Behler. "Logic and Conversation". "A Taxonomy of Illocutionary Acts". In Syntax and Sematics 3: Speech Acts.(1970). J. Martinich.R. "Metaphor". J. H. :Harvard University Press. In Davis (1991: 507-518) Muecke. Davidson. Ed. P.R. (1983). Allen &Unwin. Pragmatics.R. "Metaphorical Assertions". Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Bergmann.R. Irony and the Ironic. (1991). (1991). In Searle.(1990). 89 . Hawkes.1975). "What Metaphors Mean". J. London: Routledge.(1979:76-116). (1975). In Davis (1991: 434-494).C. J. "What is a Speech Act?".

Searle. (1961). (1992). Webster's New Collegiate Dictionary. In Davis (1991: 550-564). Oxford: Blackwell. An Encyclopedic Dictionary of Language and Languages. Cambridge.R. (1991). “Irony and the Use-Mention Distinction”. Dictionaries: Crystal.Oxford: Oxford University Press. J. D. 90 . (1995). Mass. Cambridge: Cambridge University press. Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary. Sperber. Expression and Meaning: Studies in the Theory of Speech Acts.:The Riverside Press. and Wilson. D.(1979). D.

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