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<p>The main purpose of this work is to explore the role played by visual cues in disambiguating sentences in spoken and signed languages. To do so, we focused on the recognition of ironic vs. sincere statements in Italian and in Italian Sign Language (LIS).</p> <p>Previous studies found that hearers can recognize ironic statements relying only on the speaker tone of voice (Bryant & Fox Tree, 2002), at least in their own language (Cheang & Pell, 2009). Our first research question was the following: In spoken languages, is irony recognizable through visual cues only? (Study 1)</p> <p>Our research group (Mantovan et al., 2019) found that in ironic statements in LIS, specific non-manual markers (NMMs) signal speaker’s meaning (more raised eyebrows, head nods and lateral tilts in irony) and speaker’s attitude (mouth corners up/down for compliments/ criticisms). Our second research question was: Are these NMMs linguistic or affective? (Study 2)</p> <p>In Study 1 we found that purely visual cues did enable interlocutors to correctly recognize ironic remarks, whereas in Study 2 we found that hearing participants who know LIS could detect irony in LIS at a higher rate than hearing participants not familiar with LIS. However, non-signers could recognize irony in LIS above chance level.</p> <p>Taken together, the results of our two studies might suggest a more nuanced picture of the linguistic and affective status of prosody and facial expressions, both in spoken and in signed languages.</p> <p>Select <strong>GLOW TALK ENG.mp4</strong> for the talk in English and <strong>GLOW TALK IS.mp4</strong> for the talk in International Sign Language (IS)</p>
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