Interpersonal communication and context accessibility in the interpretation of ironic utterances. A case study: Rastell's version of La Celestina


  • María Ángeles Ruiz Moneva



La Celestina, Ironía, Versiones, Interacción verbal, Comunicación interpersonal, Intencionalidad, Relevancia, Inferencia, Traducción literaria


It has been traditionally assumed that communication is a process of transmission of information between the addresser, who encodes a certain message, and the addressee, who would decode the message produced by the former. This process is assumed to be possible thanks to the existence of a code. However, certain theories, and mainly, relevance, have made it clear that neither the code nor the process described above are sufficient tools to account for this complex phenomenon. For one thing, were this so, it appears that speakers would always convey what they really want to say, and addressees would invariably manage to decode the "right" message. However, human communication appears to be a much more complex phenomenon, and such a proteic resource as irony illustrates this quite consistently. This also shows the necessity of further exploring its meaning and the way in which the whole process unfolds. Approaching communication in terms of intentions, and their inference may well enrich and offer a wider explanation. This paper will deal with the problems presented by the conveyance of ironic utterances in an English version of La Celestina, and will aim to suggest certain ways to cope with their interpretation, in terms of the relevance proposals of the relationship between speakers' intentions, in a context which they tend to choose, and which the result of their communicative interaction will tend to broaden and make it more shared.



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How to Cite

Ruiz Moneva, María Ángeles. 1998. “Interpersonal Communication and Context Accessibility in the Interpretation of Ironic Utterances. A Case Study: Rastell’s Version of La Celestina”. Alicante Journal of English Studies / Revista Alicantina De Estudios Ingleses, no. 11 (November):193-216.