Researcher

Dr Debra Aarons

Fields of Research (FoR)

Applied Linguistics and Educational Linguistics, Linguistic Structures (incl. Grammar, Phonology, Lexicon, Semantics), Discourse and Pragmatics, Linguistic Processes (incl. Speech Production and Comprehension)

Biography

Debra Aarons currently specialises in the linguistic analysis of humour, focusing on the formal grammatical properties, as well as the pragmatics, of humour. She is interested in what jokes can reveal about our tacit knowledge of language, and how play with language taps into that knowledge. In the past she has conducted research in signed language linguistics, from syntactic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Her work includes an examination...view more

Debra Aarons currently specialises in the linguistic analysis of humour, focusing on the formal grammatical properties, as well as the pragmatics, of humour. She is interested in what jokes can reveal about our tacit knowledge of language, and how play with language taps into that knowledge. In the past she has conducted research in signed language linguistics, from syntactic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Her work includes an examination into cryptic crosswords, referential peculiarity in humorous utterances, and language play in signed languages. Most recently she has been working on socially critical standup comedy. Some recent publications are (together with Marc Mierowsky), The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel as an alternate history of standup (2021); Public conscience of ‘the chosen people’: Sarah Silverman in the Wake of Lenny Bruce (2017); Obscenity, dirtiness and licence in Jewish comedy (2014/2020) all in the journal, Comedy Studies; How to do things with jokes: Speech acts in standup comedy (2017) European Journal of Humour Research. Full publication list available here: https://www.ada.unsw.edu.au/our-people/debra-aarons


My Qualifications

BA (Majors English and Philosophy) (Witwatersrand) 1976

BA Honours (English Literature)  (Witwatersrand) 1977

Higher Dip. Ed PG (Witwatersrand) 1979

BA Honours (Applied Linguistics)  (Witwatersrand) 1986

PhD (Applied Linguistics) (Boston University, Boston, Mass.) 1994


My Awards

British Council Scholarship (Lancaster UK) 1986

Fulbright Scholarship (Boston University) 1987

University of Bologna, Senior Visiting Fellowship (2017)


My Research Activities

Dr Debra Aarons is a Senior Lecturer in Linguistics in the School of Languages and Humanities (FADA). She currently specialises in the linguistic analysis of humour, focusing on the formal grammatical properties, as well as the pragmatics, of humour. She is interested in what jokes can reveal about our tacit knowledge of language, and how play with language taps into that knowledge. In the past she has conducted research in signed language linguistics, from syntactic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Her work includes an examination into cryptic crosswords, referential peculiarity in humorous utterances, and language play in signed languages. Most recently she has been working on socially critical standup comedy. Some recent publications are (together with Marc Mierowsky), The Marvelous Mrs.Maisel as an alternate history of standup (2021); Public conscience of ‘the chosen people’: Sarah Silverman in the Wake of Lenny Bruce (2017); Obscenity, dirtiness and licence in Jewish comedy (2014/2020) all in the journal, Comedy Studies; How to do things with jokes: Speech acts in standup comedy (2017) European Journal of Humour Research. She is currently writing a monograph for Taylor and Francis, together with Delia Chiaro, Playing with Food and Language: Eating, Joking and Disgust. Full publication list available here: https://www.ada.unsw.edu.au/our-people/debra-aarons

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Location

250 Morven Brown

Contact

0422144613

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