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Does anyone understand the following sentence? I just want to have a general understanding, to understand the basic logic of the sentence.

Further, as attested by the occurrence of a number of theory-non-conforming instances of ironic speech, most purely pragmatic views of conversational irony have a limited sphere of explanatory sway.

Any alternative wording?

Many thanks!
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Experience shows that people who use sarcasm to get their point across aren't very persuasive. [Frankly, that's only a wild guess!]
Hi, Philip,

What I wanted to say (because it was me actually who composed this sentence) is:

most theories have a limited sphere of explanatory sway because each has to face ironic sentences that they cannot explain

Do you think my original sentence is vague for this meaning?

Any other suggestions?

Thanks.
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Further, as attested by the occurrence of a number of theory-non-conforming instances of ironic speech, most purely pragmatic views of conversational irony have a limited sphere of explanatory sway.

I understand this to mean, more-or-less: "Most purely pragmatic explanations of how irony is used in conversation have limited use. This is evident from the fact that a number of instances of ironic speech do not conform to theory."

What's not clear to me is how the "pragmatic views" relate to the "theory". For the logic to work, the two have to be referring to the same thing (otherwise the fact that instances of ironic speech don't conform to theory says nothing very much about pragmatic explanations). The problem is that "pragmatic" specifically refers to something that is not theoretical. So, for me it doesn't quite make sense.

Most theories have a limited sphere of explanatory sway because each has to face ironic sentences that they it cannot explain.

To me, this sentence is easier to understand, and if it gets the job done for you then I'd tend to prefer it. It also avoids the pragmatic/theory confusion that I suffered with the first version.
Test message. Please ignore.
It's elegant - hard to ignore.
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Palinkasocsimost theories have a limited sphere of explanatory sway because each has to face ironic sentences that they cannot explain

Do you think my original sentence is vague for this meaning?
Yes. I think you need something simpler. Something like (but not necessarily identical to) the following, perhaps:

Most theories are limited by an inability to explain ironic sentences.
CJ
"instances of ironic speech"

"conversational irony"

My problem in trying to make sense of this is that I've never thought of a sentence (or even a statement or an expression) as being ironic. I think of situations as ironic. (It may fall to people to point out the irony of a situation.) I don't know if my problem is linguistic or cultural, or just stupidity.

When my wife was learning English (as a native Spanish speaker) she once accused me of being ironic. I finally discovered she meant I was being sarcastic. I thereafter assumed that in Spanish, "ironic" means [English] sarcastic, but I never actually verified it. I've always thought that people are sarcastic, along with the remarks/statements/expressions/sentences/phrases they create.

If anyone can enlighten me on this, I'd be grateful. - A.
Hey, A., why don't you check out these links?

http://www.k-state.edu/english/baker/english320/cc-verbal_irony.htm



Sarcasm is a sub-set.
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