Article published in:Metapragmatics of Humor: Current research trends
Edited by Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 14] 2016
► pp. 273–298
Children using phraseology for humorous purposes
The case of 9-to-10-year-olds
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.
Keywords: children’s language, phraseology, humor, metapragmatic ability
Published online: 24 November 2016
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