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Humor in Interaction (Pragmatics and Beyond New Series)


This is the first edited volume dedicated specifically to humor in interaction. It is a rich collection of essays by an international array of scholars representing various theoretical perspectives, but all concerned with interactional aspects of humor. The contributors are scholars active both in the interdisciplinary area of humor studies and in adjacent disciplines such as linguistic pragmatics, sociolinguistics, discourse analysis, psycholinguistics, gender and translation studies. The volume effectively offers an overview of the range of phenomena falling in the broad category of ‘conversational humor’, and convincingly argues for the many different functions humor can fulfill, bypassing simplistic humor theories reducing humor to one function. All the articles draw on empirical material from different countries and cultures, comprising conversations among friends and family, talk in workplace situations, humor in educational settings, and experimental approaches to humor in interaction. The book is sure to become an important reference and source of inspiration for scholars in the various subfields of humor studies, pragmatics and (socio-)linguistics.
Table of contents


Introduction: Humor and interaction
Neal R. Norrick and Delia Chiaro
Part I: Conversation among friends and family

The occasioning of self-disclosure humor
Susan M. Ervin-Tripp and Martin Lampert
Direct address as a resource for humor
Neal R. Norrick and Claudia Bubel
An interactional approach to irony development
Helga Kotthoff
Multimodal and intertextual humor in the media reception situation: The case of watching football on TV
Cornelia Gerhardt
Part II: Doing gender with humor in talk at work

Using humor to do masculinity at work
Stephanie Schnurr and Janet Holmes
Boundary-marking humor: Institutional, gender and ethnic demarcation in the workplace
Bernadette Vine, Susan Kell, Meredith Marra and Janet Holmes
Part III: Failed humor and its interactional effects

Impolite responses to failed humor
Nancy Bell
Failed humor in conversation: A double voicing analysis
Beatrice Priego-Valverde
Part IV: Humor in bilingual interactions

Humor and interlanguage in a bilingual elementary school setting
Kristin Kersten
Cultural divide or unifying factor? Humorous talk in the interaction of bilingual, cross-cultural couples
Delia Chiaro
Name index
Subject index

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Tags: humor, scholars, studies, discourse, pragmatics