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Informalization and Hybridization of Speech Practices

Polylingual Meaning-Making across Domains, Genres, and Media

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Edited By Amei Koll-Stobbe

Speech practices as discursive practices for meaning-making across domains, genres, and social groups is an under-researched, highly complex field of sociolinguistics. This field has gained momentum after innovative studies of adolescents and young adults with mixed ethnic and language backgrounds revealed that they «cross» language and dialectal or vernacular borders to construct their own hybrid discursive identities. The focus in this volume is on the diversity of emerging hybridizing speech practices through contact with English, predominantly in Europe. Contributions to this collected volume originate from the DFG funded conference on language contact in times of globalization (LCTG4) and from members of the editor’s funded research group «Discursive Multilingualism».

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The Euro and Lithuania(ns) in their own eyes: The Russian past and the European future in online comments

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Abstract: The paper sets out to examine the nature and expression of humour in online comments dealing with the introduction of the euro in Lithuania. For the present investigation, the most popular sites have been selected: Facebook and the Lithuanian news portals lrytas.lt, delfi.lt and 15min.lt. The investigation is mostly qualitative employing the notion of frame shifting, mainly associated with the Cognitive Linguistic framework. The paper attempts to identify the target of humour, the main frames involved in humour-making and to describe linguistic means contributing to the construction of humour. In many cases, the target, the mechanism and the linguistic means cross the boundaries of a single culture and are often set in a broad historical and geopolitical context. On the other hand, humour is sometimes also very culture-specific, determined by local co(n)text. One way or another, its interpretation requires considerable encyclopaedic knowledge. The results of the investigation suggest that most humorous comments bear political implications, shifting between the frames of the (grim) not-so-recent Soviet past of the country and the (questionably bright) future in the EU. The comments are often also (self) ironic, some are sarcastic. The techniques used to construct humour include switching between registers, wordplay, references to Lithuanian history, culture and politics.

Keywords: humour construction, frame shifting, Lithuania

1 Introduction

Humour is a uniquely human feature; still not all humans are equally capable of generating humour, let alone understanding it. Therefore, even if in most cases humour...

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