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LINGUIST List 23.5007

Fri Nov 30 2012

Books: Understanding Language through Humor: Dubinsky, Holcomb

Editor for this issue: Danniella Hornby <daniellalinguistlist.org>

Date: 29-Nov-2012
From: Joyce Reid <jreidcambridge.org>
Subject: Understanding Language through Humor: Dubinsky, Holcomb
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Title: Understanding Language through Humor
Publication Year: 2011
Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL: http://www.cambridge.org/us/knowledge/isbn/item6025098/Understanding%20Language%20through%20Humor/?site_locale=en_US

Author: Stanley Dubinsky
Author: Chris Holcomb

Paperback: ISBN: 9780521713887 Pages: 212 Price: U.S. $ 30.99


Students often struggle to understand linguistic concepts through examples of
language data provided in class or in texts. Presented with ambiguous
information, students frequently respond that they don't 'get it'. The
solution is to find an example of humour that relies on the targeted
ambiguity. Once they laugh at the joke, they have tacitly understood the
concept, and then it is only a matter of explaining why they found it funny.
Utilizing cartoons and jokes illustrating linguistic concepts, this book makes
it easy to understand these concepts, while keeping the reader's attention and
interest. Organized like a course textbook in linguistics, it covers all the
major topics in a typical linguistics survey course, including communication
systems, phonetics and phonology, morphemes, words, phrases, sentences,
language use, discourses, child language acquisition and language variation,
while avoiding technical terminology.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction
2. Talking to Garfield: human and animal communication
3. Did I hear that right? The sounds of language
4. Twisted words: word structure and meaning
5. Fitting words together: phrase structure and meaning
6. Meaning one thing and saying another: indirect speech and conversational
7. Fitting the pieces together: the structure of discourse
8. 'Kids say the darndest things': children acquiring language
9. Variety is the spice of life: language variation
10. Cross-cultural gaffes: language and culture
11. The language police: prescriptivism and standardization
12. So long, and thanks for all the fish.

Linguistic Field(s): General Linguistics

Written In: English (eng)

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