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Flagging a turn as humorous with prospective indexicals

Lookup NU author(s): Nimet Copur, Dr Adam Brandt


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© 2022. This study explores how second language students design their turns to produce a humorous frame in Initiation-Response-Feedback (IRF) sequences. More specifically, it examines and unpacks the multimodal resources deployed by students in flagging utterances as humorous and how they are responded to within task-based context. Using Conversation Analysis, we demonstrate that various resources deployed by the speaker in different sequential placements collectively serve as “prospective indexicals” (Goodwin, 1996), through which speakers (1) mobilise participants’ attention and (2) prepare them as to the nature of the forthcoming utterance and thus, what to listen for, and (3) signal that the utterance is to be treated as a laughable as well as indicating which specific part of the utterance is. In doing so, this study provides implications for teacher education and foreign language teaching as well as shedding light on an under-researched phenomenon in both L2 classroom interaction research and humour scholarship.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Copur N, Brandt A

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: Linguistics and Education

Year: 2023

Volume: 73

Print publication date: 01/02/2023

Online publication date: 21/12/2022

Acceptance date: 09/12/2022

ISSN (print): 0898-5898

ISSN (electronic): 1873-1864

Publisher: Elsevier Ltd


DOI: 10.1016/j.linged.2022.101141


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