Dissociative attitude

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The term dissociative attitude applies to attitudes such as scepticism, mockery and rejection, i.e. attitudes in which speakers distance themselves from the committment to the truth or appropriateness of a proposition or utterance.

The expression of a dissociative attitude has been claimed to be a key ingredient of linguistic irony (see e.g. Wilson 2006):

"The main point in typical cases of verbal irony ... is to express the speaker's dissociative attitude to a tacitly attributed utterance or thought ..., based on some perceived discrepancy between the way it represents the world and and the way things actually are ..." (Wilson 2006: 1724)


Wilson, Deirdre. 2006. The pragmatics of verbal irony. Lingua 116: 1722-1743.