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ERIC Number: EJ1105248
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2016
Pages: 18
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-0026-7902
American Learners' Comprehension of Russian Textual Humor
Shardakova, Maria
Modern Language Journal, v100 n2 p466-483 Sum 2016
Over the past decade, second language (L2) humor has attracted scholarly attention as both a means and a goal of L2 development. Much of this research, however, has focused on oral communication, whereas virtually no studies address humor as an aspect of reading comprehension. This exploratory study combines these two areas of inquiry, examining how L2 learners of Russian negotiate textual humor. In particular, the study addresses the role of textual properties (genre and humorousness), and the effects of proficiency on learners' ability to apprehend and appreciate textual humor. The findings suggest that learner comprehension is dynamic and often partial (cf. Bell, 2007b), depending on familiarity with genre conventions and linguistic devices signaling humorous intent. The study also found that different stages of humor comprehension required discrete sets of knowledge: Detection, for example, relies on L2 linguistic knowledge, whereas understanding hinges largely on native cultural beliefs. Comparison of both groups suggested that the differences between learners and native speakers were both quantitative and qualitative. The role of proficiency was more complex than expected and primarily evidenced in the accuracy (rather than frequency) of humor recognition independent of text properties. The article concludes with pedagogical suggestions and outlines future research areas.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A