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Sprachspiele: kreativer Umgang mit Sprache 

Zurück zum Heft: Linguistische Berichte Heft 221
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Human beings are able to modify the vocabulary and even the grammar of their native languages (in poetry this is called "poetic licence"). They can contaminate words (as in the Eng. word brunch , from breakfast and lunch ) or otherwise modify them (by adding or eliminating elements or by twisting them around). Most often this is done in order to obtain a comical effect. In English, the term pun is used for words or expressions used this way. In German there exists the term Wortspiel ("play with words"), which suggests that we always have to do with modified words. Since we can also modify phrases and sentences in order to achieve a comical effect, I use the term Sprachspiel ("play with language") as a general term, distinguishing between Wortspiel (as a pun in its narrow sense) and phrasales Sprachspiel (as a pun concerning phrases and sentences). In my article I undertake an attempt to classify the different techniques used in creating puns in German and their structures, being aware of the fact that often different techniques can be used to create the same kind of structure (e.g.a derived or compound word). I also try to show similarities between puns and speech errors. Sometimes, as in the case of Spottmarkt , it cannot be decided, whether the author produced a writing error– a slip of the pen as Victoria FROMKIN 1973 calls it– intending to write Spotmarkt (Eng. "spot market") or whether he wanted to make a joke ( Spott means "mockery"– but there is no real marker for mockery!).