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Jokes and the Linguistic Mind [Paperback]

Debra Aarons
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

August 19, 2011 0415890497 978-0415890496

Through the lens of cognitive science, Jokes and the Linguistic Mind investigates jokes that play on some aspect of the structure and function of language.  In so doing, Debra Aarons shows that these 'linguistic jokes' can evoke our tacit knowledge of the language we use.  Analyzing hilarious examples from movies, plays and books, Jokes and the Linguistic Mind demonstrates that tacit linguistic knowledge must become conscious for linguistic jokes to be understood.  The book examines jokes that exploit pragmatic, semantic, morphological, phonological and semantic features of language, as well as jokes that use more than one language and jokes that are about language itself.  Additionally, the text explores the relationship between cryptic crossword clues and linguistic jokes in order to demonstrate the difference between tacit knowledge of language and rules of language use that are articulated for a particular purpose.  With its use of jokes as data and its highly accessible explanations of complex linguistic concepts, this book is an engaging supplementary text for introductory courses in linguistics, psycholinguistics and cognitive science.  It will also be of interest to scholars in translation studies, applied linguistics and philosophy of language.


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Editorial Reviews

Review

'This book is delightful. Aarons takes us on a whirlwind tour of a wide range of linguistic phenomena—Gricean maxims, deixis, lexical semantics, negative polarity, quantification, morphological reanalysis, phonological assimilation, syntactic ambiguity and recursion, to name just a few—all through the medium of de dicto humor and language play. As she amply illustrates, explaining jokes (or "killing” them by linguistic analysis) is much more complicated than simply “getting” them. But the fact that we do get jokes demonstrates that we are able to call upon some sophisticated yet tacit linguistic knowledge, bringing it momentarily to consciousness via a surprising little disruption of our normal grammatical and communicative routines. I certainly plan to incorporate some of her analyses (and of course, the jokes themselves) into my undergraduate linguistics courses.' – Donna Lardiere, Georgetown University, USA

'Is linguistics boring? Certainly not in this book! Many of the jokes Debra Aarons discusses can easily be turned into enjoyable teaching lessons.' – Janet Bing, Old Dominion University, USA

About the Author

Debra Aarons is Lecturer in Linguistics at the University of New South Wales in Australia.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Routledge (August 19, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0415890497
  • ISBN-13: 978-0415890496
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 5.9 x 0.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,691,595 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This is a good book February 1, 2013
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is really interesting. It is not the easiest read for some, so it might take some effort on the reader's part to understand the book. Some might not like the fact that the author is a "Chomskyan," because of preferential reasons, but it is insightful.
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