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  • Author or Editor: Mihaela Popa-Wyatt x
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Reclamation is the phenomenon of an oppressed group repurposing language to its own ends. A case study is reclamation of slur words. Popa-Wyatt and Wyatt (2018) argued that a slurring utterance is a speech act which performs a discourse role assignment. It assigns a subordinate role to the target, while the speaker assumes a dominant role. This pair of role assignments is used to oppress the target. Here the author focuses on how reclamation works and under what conditions its benefits can stabilise. She starts by reviewing the data and describing preconditions and motivations for reclamation. Can reclamation be explained in the same basic framework as regular slurring utterances? She argues that it can. The author also identifies some features that must be a prediction of any theory of reclamation. She concludes that reclamation is an instance of a much broader class of acts we do with words to change the distribution of power: it begets power, but it also requires it.

In: Grazer Philosophische Studien

Two rival accounts of irony claim, respectively, that pretence and echo are independently sufficient to explain central cases. After highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of these accounts, I argue that an account in which both pretence and echo play an essential role better explains these cases and serves to explain peripheral cases as well. I distinguish between “weak” and “strong” hybrid theories, and advocate an “integrated strong hybrid” account in which elements of both pretence and echo are seen as complementary in a unified mechanism. I argue that the allegedly mutually exclusive elements of pretence and echo are in fact complementary aspects enriching a core-structure as follows: by pretending to have a perspective/thought F, an ironic speaker U echoes a perspective/thought G. F is merely pretended, perhaps caricaturised or exaggerated, while G is real/possible.

In: International Review of Pragmatics