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Framing entextualization in improv: Intertextuality as an interactional resource

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  23 March 2012

Anna Marie Trester
Georgetown University, Department of Linguistics, 1437 37th Street N, Poulton Hall 22, Box 571051, Washington, DC


This study explores a type of language play among a community of improvisational theater (improv) performers, focusing on their strategic deployment of texts in interactions collected backstage while the troupe prepares for performance. Building on the work of Bauman & Briggs (1990), I adopt a process approach to the analysis of intertextuality, suggesting that community-specific ways of using entextualization, decontextualization, and recontextualization add to the work that has been done on intertextuality, given that it is not merely what texts are used but crucially how they are reshaped that can serve an important social function or the why of intertextuality—in this case explored in the context of member socialization. (Intertextuality, interactional sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, improvisational theater, improv)*

Copyright © Cambridge University Press 2012

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