Repetition of words and phrases from the punch lines of Japanese stories about food and restaurants

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Drawing on research on repetition in storytelling (Jefferson et al., 1987; Norrick, 2000; Georgakopoulou, 2007), I demonstrate how words and phrases in punch lines about food and restaurants can acquire evaluative or symbolic meanings in a storytelling among three Japanese women. I also show how later in the conversation participants use these words and phrases to comment on their taste and to evaluate a story utilizing the original evaluative or symbolic meanings of these words and phrases. This study shows how the ubiquity of talk about food and restaurants allows the participants to use words and phrases from punch lines as a device to show their understanding of one another and suggests how this can be a group bonding exercise in talk-in-interaction.


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