The jocular quip in intercultural contexts

31 May 2024
Room D1

The jocular quip in intercultural contexts

The ‘jocular quip’, although it has no great currency amongst linguists, is a happily sonorous piece of terminology worthy of further exploration. First described and elaborated on in an intralingual but intercultural setting (Haugh & Weinglass, 2018), there seems to be a need for further examination of the significance of the jocular quip, particularly when it is used to open an interaction. Anecdotal evidence strongly suggests that the use of such devices is common amongst speakers of English with an Australian cultural background. The aim of the jocular quip is not as clear as one might think: it can be used for self-deprecation, or for seeking an affiliate response and thus establishing a rapport, in particular in the spirit of egalitarianism. There are, of course, obvious risks associated with using jocular quips, which means that listeners from cultures where such devices are usually reserved for different communicative situations need to be prepared to deal with remarks which may seem aggressive, although precisely the opposite effect is desired. The presentation reports on the evaluation of data collected from two groups: one group of students from a German university, and a group of Chinese students currently studying in Changchun. The presentation aims to explore the validity of this term, and to establish whether it should be more thoroughly and systematically explored in the spirit of language learning as an intercultural endeavour (McConachy, 2018).


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