ERIC Number: ED317042
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1989-Dec-29
Joking Repair and the Organization of Repair in Conversation.
Norrick, Neal R.
This analysis looks at the humorous use of second-speaker repeats to initiate conversational repair. It is proposed that consideration of joking repeats forces reanalysis of the organization of conversational repair. The preference analysis theory is rejected in favor of a locally governed analysis of conversational repair in which participants negotiate the course of repair based on how they perceive their respective abilities to successfully complete a correction. In joking repair, one participant pretends to misunderstand something a second speaker, with whom the participant is involved in conversation, has said in order to make a pun before providing a serious response. A crucial word or phrase is repeated, incorporating some change to bring out a new meaning. Because speakers are accountable for their own speech, any correction by another speaker naturally presents a challenge; the pretended misunderstanding and correction by the second speaker presents the additional challenge of discovering the unintended meaning, correlating with joking's test function. The humor of joking repairs arises from simultaneous application of conflicting frames to one single stretch of talk. It is the rapid alternation between such mutually incompatible frames that leads to laughter. This analysis of conversational joking also led to re-evaluation of the general purpose and goals of everyday speech. (MSE)
Publication Type: Reports - Evaluative; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Note: Paper presented at the Annual Meeting of the Linguistic Society of America (Washington, DC, December 27-30, 1989).