Edited by Villy Tsakona and Jan Chovanec
[Topics in Humor Research 7] 2018
► pp. 77–104
Chapter 4. The pragmatics of humor in bilingual conversations
In this study, we analyze conversations recorded during ethnographic research the Muslim community of Rhodes, a Greek island close to Turkey's coast. The community is bilingual in Turkish and Greek. We examine aspects of the overall and sequential organization of talk as well as instances of humor produced by the code alternation choices that speakers of different ethnic origin, generation and social groups make during interaction. Being essentially a conversational practice, code-switching is primarily analyzed in the conversational context in which it appears as a meaningful choice of bilingual speakers. In this context, humorous code-switchings are seen as pertaining to a continuum of (a) discourse related alternations connected to pragmatic parameters of the organization of talk-in-interaction, and (b) participant related alternations strategically used for the construction of aspects of the bilingual identity as well as dynamic alignments among participants.