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Metaphonology of English Paronomasic Puns

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Wlodzimierz Sobkowiak

In this book English heterophonous/paronomasic/puns are investigated from a metaphonological perspective. I look into the ways and methods of native speakers' self-conscious metalinguistic manipulation of their phonological system/s/, as exemplified in punning. A phonostatistic analysis of nearly 4000 English puns is attempted in testing a hypothesis that the phonological representations accessed and generated in punning are significantly different from those used in 'ordinary' speech encoding. Comparisons are carried out against phoneme frequency distributions of running speech and those of spontaneous errors.
In speech play, competence mechanisms are accessed which differ from structural competence à la Chomsky.
Contents: Speech play and manipulation - Puns, spoonerisms, tongue-twisters - Puns vs. errors of speech - Metaphonology - Lexical access in punning - Other kinds of language-conscious manipulation: trademarks, acronyms, onomatopoeia.