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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: July 2019

17 - Component Processes of Irony Comprehension in Children

from Part III - Figurative Language and Layered Interpretations


Tomoko Matsui takes a developmental perspective on ironical language use and considers the role of epistemic vigilance and mind-reading mechanisms in children’s understanding of irony. She discusses evidence that indicates that children as old as 9 years may misinterpret instances of irony as deliberate lies and suggests that this is a result of their developing epistemic vigilance mechanisms (specifically, a sensitivity to the truth or falsity of information) together with a not yet fully mature appreciation of how information can achieve relevance.