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Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana

On-line version ISSN 2075-9479


SAMPEDRO, Bárbara; DIAZ ESPINOSA, Ingrid; FERRERES, Aldo  and  GURLEKIAN, Jorge. Assessment test of ironic and sarcastic expressions' comprehension: acoustic and perceptual analysis. Neuropsicologia Latinoamericana [online]. 2012, vol.4, n.3, pp. 6-18. ISSN 2075-9479.

The aim of this study was to make an acoustic and perceptual analysis of the items of a test of ironic and sarcastic expressions´ comprehension, to obtain a controlled tool. A spectrographic analysis of stimuli was performed in order to detect formal markers that indicate differences in the intonation of same sentences but with different communicative intentions. In addition, a perceptual analysis of the same stimuli was carried out in order to observe the prosody of both production and comprehension of these forms of language. The corpus consists of 22 sentences issued in two different conditions, a condition marked by stress, whose interpretation should be indirect or non-literal, and another unmarked, whose interpretation should be direct or literal. One adult female informant, with completed university studies, native speaker of Spanish, produced the 44 emissions. In addition, 35 adult subjects, of different ages and school grades, native speakers of Spanish, made a qualification of the items according to their perception of the intonation of the sentences. Following the spectrographic analysis, we observed that the absolute total lengths in ironic and sarcastic items are systematically longer than the measurement of their respective direct items. Further results revealed significant differences in the frequency of high monotonal accents (in favor of indirect items) and low monotonal and bitonal accents (in favor of direct items). The perceptual analysis showed the existence of a statistically significant difference in average scores between direct and indirect items. We obtained objective measures of the items of a test that assesses comprehension of ironic and sarcastic expressions. This test is useful to assess the verbal communication in right hemisphere damaged patients.

Keywords : Assessment; Irony; Sarcasm; Acoustic analysis; Perceptual analysis.

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