LINGUIST List 16.509

Sat Feb 19 2005

Qs: Braille & Phonetics/Humor as a Linguistic Strategy

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        1.    Sarah Gray, Braille and Phonetics
        2.    Mary Zdrojkowski, Humor as a Linguistic Strategy

Message 1: Braille and Phonetics

Date: 17-Feb-2005
From: Sarah Gray <>
Subject: Braille and Phonetics

Dear Linguists,

I am studying B.Sc Human Communication Sciences at Sheffield University,
and am totally blind. I would like to develop my career in phonetic
analysis of typical and impaired speech. The Braille system which I
currently use allows me to transcribe most of the IPA, but does not provide
me with Ext.IPA or VOQs symbols. I aim to develop my current system further
to include these, but would first be interested to make contact with other
Braille IPA users and to discover their transcription methods. I ultimately
hope to create a system which is as standardised as the written one, and
feel that anyone wishing to use it should be involved.

If you or anyone you know can help, please let me know.

Many thanks.

Sarah Gray.

Linguistic Field(s): Phonetics
Writing Systems

Message 2: Humor as a Linguistic Strategy

Date: 17-Feb-2005
From: Mary Zdrojkowski <>
Subject: Humor as a Linguistic Strategy

I'm doing research on the uses of humor in conferences/tutorials occurring in a
university writing center. In this institutional setting, which is similar to
academic advising sessions or doctor-patient advising, humor seems to be used to
mitigate bad news, to lessen power differentials, to create divergent thinking,

However, I'm having trouble defining humor operationally or describing its
linguistic features. Sometimes people laugh when they think they're supposed to,
so just looking for instances of laughter isn't accurate. I have both video and
audio tapes of 36 writing tutorials, and want to do discourse analysis of the
role humor plays.

How can I decided when or when not humor is being used? Has someone else done
research like this, and if so, what discourse features were used to define humor?

Thank you, Mary

Linguistic Field(s): Discourse Analysis

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