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Metapragmatics of Humor

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Metapragmatics of Humor by Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo
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This paper analyzes the use of phraseological procedures for humorous purposes in 9-to-10-year-olds’ written production with regard to their metapragmatic development. 148 humorous stories written by 4th grade Primary School children from 5 schools located in the province of Alicante (Spain) were quantitatively and qualitatively processed. The analysis revealed that children belonging to the age group examined use phraseology for humor in a mainly epipragmatic way, although evidence of metapragmatic reflection exists as well. Phrasal compounds and idioms present similar use rates, which refutes the initial hypothesis according to which transparent phrasal compounds are preferred over more opaque idioms. The unexpected outcome of the study was the use – though scarce – of manipulated phraseological units, since this procedure implies a high metapragmatic competence.
John Benjamins Publishing Company; November 2016
307 pages; ISBN 9789027266378
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Title: Metapragmatics of Humor
Author: Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo