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Is There a Body Language of Irony? - A Study Based on the TV Shows The Nanny and The Golden Girls
2002 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

The main tool for communication is language. Verbal communication is used to exchange information amongst people, but is not the only tool we use in conversations. Non-verbal communication is also frequently used to strengthen or clarify what is being said. There are different types of non-verbal communication and body language is one. Body language is exactly what the name implies, the language we communicate with our body, mainly by facial expressions and gestures. What makes body language so interesting is that it is something we all use, consciously and unconsciously and it differs considerably within and between cultures. Many times our body language expresses more than the spoken word. We use our body language differently in different situations. If we want to be polite, we smile and nod when listening to another speaker, and if we do not understand the speaker we frown to show that we do not follow the reasoning. But what signals do we use when we mean the opposite of what we say, for instance when we are ironic? In the field of linguistics, separate studies have been made on body language and irony. Using some of these sources I give a general view of irony as a linguistic tool and body language as a part of communication. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is a body language of irony. By analyzing two comedies containing a lot of humor obtained by ironic utterances I try to answer this question. The result of the investigation clearly shows that there is a body language of irony and that certain types of body language are more frequently used than others.

Abstract [en]

The main tool for communication is language. Verbal communication is used to exchange information amongst people, but is not the only tool we use in conversations. Non-verbal communication is also frequently used to strengthen or clarify what is being said. There are different types of non-verbal communication and body language is one. Body language is exactly what the name implies, the language we communicate with our body, mainly by facial expressions and gestures. What makes body language so interesting is that it is something we all use, consciously and unconsciously and it differs considerably within and between cultures. Many times our body language expresses more than the spoken word. We use our body language differently in different situations. If we want to be polite, we smile and nod when listening to another speaker, and if we do not understand the speaker we frown to show that we do not follow the reasoning. But what signals do we use when we mean the opposite of what we say, for instance when we are ironic? In the field of linguistics, separate studies have been made on body language and irony. Using some of these sources I give a general view of irony as a linguistic tool and body language as a part of communication. The aim of this study is to investigate if there is a body language of irony. By analyzing two comedies containing a lot of humor obtained by ironic utterances I try to answer this question. The result of the investigation clearly shows that there is a body language of irony and that certain types of body language are more frequently used than others.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2002. , 25 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53689Local ID: ENG C-13OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53689DiVA: diva2:1102249
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard1
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
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  • Other locale
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