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Satire as a genre

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Many scholars have claimed that satire is a genre. At the same time, however, it is also widely acknowledged that satire has changed over the centuries, that it has taken various forms and that it still appears in a variety of other genres. Far from being a drawback in identifying satire as a genre, I will claim that variability is a natural property of genres if the latter are conceived of as dynamic cognitive categories that emerge out of a complex interplay of heterogeneous factors which cluster differently under the effect of different contextual and cotextual attractors. I will assume that, in satire, these factors include a range of linguistic and rhetorical devices which interact in different ways to dynamically bring about specifically intended effects. I will further claim that understanding satire is a context-sensitive complex process which implies setting up and maintaining multiple mental representations, and drawing pragmatic inferences.

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Keywords: complex systems; emergence; genre; pragmatic inferences; satire

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: December 31, 2018

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