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URN: urn:nbn:de:bsz:25-opus-7352
URL: http://www.freidok.uni-freiburg.de/volltexte/735/


Günther, Ulrike

What's in a laugh? Humour, jokes and laughter in the conversational corpus of the BNC

'What's in a laugh?' Humor, Lachen und Witze im 'Conversational Corpus' des BNC

Dokument1.pdf (1.563 KB) (md5sum: c12b82c890b133e394321c1c8a16c4ca)

Kurzfassung in Deutsch

The work investigates humour, laughter and joke performances in natural spontaneous conversations recorded in the UK for the British National Corpus (BNC) and the Bergen Corpus of London Teenage Language (COLT). It is a broad-based study that aims to elucidate how humour and laughter function in the general population, thus seeking to overcome the limits of humour studies which rely on small purpose-built corpora. The methodological framework employed is a combination of ethnomethodology, corpus linguistics and (Labovian) sociolinguistics.
The analytical core of the work extends from the study of canned joke performances via a discussion of structural properties in the construction of jokes to a description of laughter and humour in everyday interaction. Canned joke performances are approached from two angles. First, by adopting a primarily macroscopic point of view towards the data, a number of extralinguistic criteria (e.g. who tells jokes) are examined. Second, by taking a microscopic perspective (what ethnomethodologists sometimes label the 'emic' vantage point) an adolescent joke session is analysed in terms of its structural organisation and functional import.
The description of laughter and humour attempts to illuminate the relationship between laughter and humour from an empirical viewpoint. It was therefore necessary to create taxonomies of laughter and humour which in turn act as reference points for a socio-linguistic investigation that attempts to account for the significant variations in behaviour that were found in the conversational corpus.
Since the work aims to contribute to the discipline of 'humour studies' in general, it begins by recapitulating the three major humour theories and by summarising the accumulated knowledge from various disciplines on humour functions. It ends with a critical assessment of some of these propositions in the light of the evidence of 'humour-in-action' as exercised by speakers in their daily encounters.


SWD-Schlagwörter: Humor , Ethnomethodologie , Geschlecht , British National Corpus , Soziolinguistik
Freie Schlagwörter (deutsch): Witz , COLT
Freie Schlagwörter (englisch): humour , ethnomethodology , gender , British National Corpus , sociolinguistics
Institut: Engl. Sem. 1 Inst. f. Engl. Sprache und Literatur
Fakultät: Philosophische Fakultät II (bis Sept. 2002)
DDC-Sachgruppe: Englisch, Altenglisch
Dokumentart: Dissertation
Erstgutachter: Mair, Christian (Prof. Dr.)
Sprache: Englisch
Tag der mündlichen Prüfung: 28.06.2002
Erstellungsjahr: 2002
Publikationsdatum: 25.06.2003
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