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Humor Markers

  • By: Audrey C. Adams
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

The concept of discourse markers was introduced by Deborah Schiffrin and defined as a linguistic feature that is reliably associated with a given phenomenon. Discourse markers have many functions, such as initiating conversation, signaling a topic change, allowing for hesitation without losing the conversational floor, linking one concept or detail with another, or as implications of the speaker's intentions. Markers can take different forms depending on the medium and manner of an interaction. Markers are distinct from the associated phenomenon in that the presence of markers may facilitate understanding and recognition of intention or an underlying meaning, but the absence or elimination of these markers will not alter or eliminate the actual phenomenon. Salvatore Attardo distinguishes between humor markers (signaling elements) and humor factors (constitutive ...

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