Posts tagged ‘pragmatics’

11 May 2010

Laughter in discourse

…some findings on my recent search for research articles on the use of laughter in meetings…

Janet Holmes. (2006). Sharing a laugh: Pragmatic aspects of humor and gender in the workplace. Journal of Pragmatics, 38(1): 26-50. (Abstract)

Humor serves a wide range of functions at work, one of which is to foster collegiality. An analysis of interactions in New Zealand workplaces showed that one of the most important functions of humor was the construction and maintenance of good relations with fellow workers. Such workplace collegiality is often constructed and maintained through extended sequences of humor. This paper examines some of the ways in which humor is used to construct collegial relations at work, with particular attention to the dimension of gender in the workplace.

Janet Holmes & Meredith Marra. (2002). Having a laugh at work: how humour contributes to workplace culture. Journal of Pragmatics, 34(12): 1683-1710. (Abstract)

Despite its frequency in everyday life, we know very little about the interactional characteristics of laughter. This paper explores some of the pragmatic features of laughter in conversation. Laughter is examined as: (1) a turn taking cue, (2) an instruction to hear, (3) a display of hearership, (4) an invitation to elaborate, and (5) a resource in affiliation.

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal. (2006). Laughter in the Film The Third Man. Pragmatics 16(2&3): 305-327 (pdf)

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal (2005). Laughter in Bill Clinton’s My Life (2004) Interviews. Pragmatics 15(2&3): 275-299 (pdf)

Daniel C. O’Connell, Sabine Kowal (2004). Hillary Clinton’s Laughter in Media Interviews. Pragmatics 14(4): 463-478 (pdf)

Nick O’Donnell-Trujillo & Katherine Adams. (1983). Heheh in conversation: Some coordinating accomplishments of laughter. Western Journal of Communication, 47(2): 175 – 191.

Complete abstract: Despite its frequency in everyday life, we know very little about the interactional characteristics of laughter. This paper explores some of the pragmatic features of laughter in conversation. Laughter is examined as: (1) a turn taking cue, (2) an instruction to hear, (3) a display of hearership, (4) an invitation to elaborate, and (5) a resource in affiliation.

…image thanks to composed volcano...

22 February 2010

Language use and ideology

Open source manuscripts! And not only uploaded by third parties, but by the authors themselves. Jef Verschueren‘s latest book, for instance, is currently available online in draft form. In it, he argues that a ‘permanent monitoring of ideological processes’ is ‘imperative’. And that pragmatics offers useful tools to do this.

The book deals with what for me is one of the most fascinating (and important) aspects of language use: commonsensicalness.

Once ways of thinking about relations between groups of people are felt to be ‘normal’, they may become powerful tools for legitimating attitudes, behavior, and policies, whatever the frequently negative consequences in terms of discrimination, patterns of dominance, and even violence.

And more specifically, he offers an interesting thesis on hegemony which promises to engage closely with language practices:

Thesis 1.1.1: The wider the society or community, and the wider the range of discourse genres in which a given pattern of meaning or frame of interpretation escapes questioning, the more ‘hegemonic’ it may be.

The manuscript, which provides a research tool to explore these issues: Engaging with Language Use and Ideology: Pragmatic guidelines for empirical ideology research.

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