Humour in ELF interaction

A powerful, multifunctional resource in relational practice

Authored by: Patricia Pullin

The Routledge Handbook of English as a Lingua Franca

Print publication date:  August  2017
Online publication date:  August  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138855328
eBook ISBN: 9781315717173
Adobe ISBN:


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Humour would appear to be a universal and multifunctional phenomenon intrinsic to human interaction and is studied in a wide range of disciplines in addition to linguistics, for example psychology, sociology and philosophy (Dynel, 2011). Within the field of linguistic pragmatics, a number of researchers have investigated humour in native-speaker discourse (e.g. Coates, 2007; Hay, 2000; Holmes, 2000, 2006; Holmes and Marra, 2002, 2004; Norrick, 2003; Pullin, 2011) and in native speaker/non-native speaker interaction (Rogerson-Revell, 2007). However, to date humour in English as a lingua franca (ELF) has, with some notable exceptions (Gotti, 2014; Matsumoto, 2014; Pullin Stark, 2009; Walkinshaw, 2016; Walkinshaw and Kirkpatrick, 2014), received less attention. Yet, in ELF, as this chapter aims to illustrate, humour proves to be a powerful resource in achieving professional and academic goals, while nurturing, maintaining and addressing relational issues.

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