Debra Aarons

Lecturer
Senior Lecturer

Debra Aarons currently specialises in the linguistic analysis of humour, focusing on the formal grammatical properties, as well as the pragmatics, of humour. She is interested in what jokes can reveal about our tacit knowledge of language, and how play with language taps into that knowledge. In the past she has conducted research in signed language linguistics, from syntactic and sociolinguistic perspectives. Her most recent work includes an examination into cryptic crosswords, referential peculiarity in humorous utterances, and language play in signed languages.

Publications

Books
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Aarons D, 2012, Jokes and the linguistic mind, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9780203814741
2012
Book Chapters
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Aarons D, 2017, 'Puns and Tacit Linguistic Knowledge', in Attardo S (ed.), The Routledge Handbook of Language and Humor, Routledge, London, pp. 80 - 94, http://dx.doi.org/10.4324/9781315731162
2017
Aarons D; Aarons D; Reynolds, L , 2003, 'South African SIgn Language: Changing Policies and Practice', in Monaghan L; Turner G; Nakamura K; Schmaling C (ed.), Many Ways to be Deaf, Gallaudet University Press, pp. 194 - 210
2003
Aarons D; Aarons D; Akach P, 2002, 'South African Sign Language--one or many?', in Mesthrie R (ed.), Language in South Africa, Cambridge University Press, pp. 127 - 147
2002
Aarons D; Neidle C; Kegl J; Bahan B, 1997, 'Rightward wh-movement in American Sign Language', in Beerman D; LeBlanc D; Riemsdijk HC V (ed.), Rightward Movement, John Benjamins Publishing, pp. 247 - 278
1997
Aarons D; Aarons, Bahan, Kegl, Neidle , 1995, 'Lexical Tense Markers in American Sign Language', in Emmorey K; Reilly JS (ed.), Language, Gesture, and Space, Psychology Press
1995
Aarons D; Aarons D; Bahan B; Kegl J; Neidle C, 1994, 'Subjects and Agreement in American Sign Language', in Ahlgren I; Bergman B; Brennan M; Ahlgren I; Bergman B; Brennan M (ed.), Perspectives on Sign Language Structure, ISLA, pp. 13 - 28
1994
Journal articles
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Aarons D; Mierowsky M, 2017, 'How to do things with jokes: Speech acts in standup comedy', European Journal of Humour Research, vol. 5, pp. 158 - 168, http://dx.doi.org/10.7592/EJHR2017.5.4.aarons
2017
Aarons D; Mierowsky M, 2017, 'Public conscience of ‘the chosen people’: Sarah Silverman in the Wake of Lenny Bruce', Comedy Studies, vol. 8, pp. 154 - 166, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2040610X.2017.1343272
2017
Aarons DL, 2015, 'Following Orders: Playing Fast and Loose with Language and Letters', Australian Journal of Linguistics, vol. 35, pp. 351 - 380, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/07268602.2015.1068459
2015
Aarons D; Mierowsky M, 2014, 'Obscenity, dirtiness and licence in Jewish comedy', Comedy Studies, vol. 5, pp. 165 - 177, http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/2040610X.2014.967017
2014
Aarons D, 2006, 'Language development and learning to read: the scientific study of how language development affects reading skills', EDUCATIONAL REVIEW, vol. 58, pp. 499 - 501, http://gateway.webofknowledge.com/gateway/Gateway.cgi?GWVersion=2&SrcApp=PARTNER_APP&SrcAuth=LinksAMR&KeyUT=WOS:000242913100013&DestLinkType=FullRecord&DestApp=ALL_WOS&UsrCustomerID=891bb5ab6ba270e68a
2006
Aarons D; Morgan RZ, 2003, 'Classifier Predicates and the Creation of Multiple Perspectives in South African Sign Language', Sign Language Studies, vol. 3, pp. 125 - 156, http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/sls.2003.0001
2003
Aarons D; Aarons D; Akach P, 2002, 'Inclusion and the deaf child in South African education', Perspectives in Education : Many Languages in Education : Special Issue 1, vol. 20, pp. 153 - 170
2002
Aarons D; Bahan B; Kegl J; Neidle C, 1992, 'Clausal Structure and a Tier for Grammatical Marking in American Sign Language', Nordic Journal of Linguistics, vol. 15, pp. 103 - 142, http://dx.doi.org/10.1017/s0332586500002560
1992
Other
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Aarons D; Lawrence P, 2007, Unrepresented Accused and the Language of the Magistrates' Court, Centre for Law and Society, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa
2007
Theses / Dissertations
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Aarons D; Aarons D, 1994, Aspects of American Sign Language Syntax, Boston University
1994