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Journal Article

On Puns, Comebacks, Verbal Dueling, and Play Languages: Speech Play in Balinese Verbal Life

Joel Sherzer
Language in Society
Vol. 22, No. 2 (Jun., 1993), pp. 217-233
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/4168431
Page Count: 17

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Topics: Wordplay, Play languages, Theater, Puns, Words, Humor, Language, Verbal dueling, Spoken communication, Vowels
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
On Puns, Comebacks, Verbal Dueling, and Play Languages: Speech Play in Balinese Verbal Life
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Abstract

In Bali, speech play is a cultural focus. Several of the many forms of Balinese speech play are investigated -- puns, comebacks and verbal dueling, and pig-latin type play languages. These are examined in the context of everyday, informal speech and conversation, verbal routines and events such as storytelling and bargaining, and the artistic and ritual performances for which Bali is famous, such as shadow puppet plays and dance dramas. Attention is paid to the role of multilingualism in Balinese speech play, especially the intersection of the various languages and language levels in constant use in Bali. The significance of speech play in Balinese culture and society is explored.

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