Verbal Irony Comprehension in Adults who Speak English as an Additional Language

Marta Krygier-Bartz, Melanie Glenwright


We examined whether adults who speak English as an Additional Language (EAL) have a decreased ability to comprehend verbal irony compared to native English speakers. Participants watched a series of 30-second videos containing ironic and literal statements. Respondents identified speaker’s belief, and rated speaker’s attitude and humor. EAL speakers were less reliable than native English speakers in identifying the speaker’s belief for both ironic and literal statements and showed lower humor ratings for ironic criticisms.

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