LING 23920 Language of Deception and Humor

Humor and deception both make significant use of language and yet they can also both occur independent of language. Furthermore, they both rely heavily on expectations and conventions regarding communication and language but they do so in somewhat different ways – humor often works by tweaking or confounding our expectations and conventions while deception often works by exploiting them. In this course we will examine deception and humor from a variety of perspectives: historical, developmental, neurological, and cross-cultural and in a variety of contexts: fiction, advertising, pol- itics, courtship, and normal conversation. We will focus on the (linguistic) knowledge and skills that underlie the use of humor and deception and on what sorts of things they are used to communicate.

Jason Riggle -- Autumn 2020