Association for Behavior Analysis International

The Association for Behavior Analysis International® (ABAI) is a nonprofit membership organization with the mission to contribute to the well-being of society by developing, enhancing, and supporting the growth and vitality of the science of behavior analysis through research, education, and practice.


50th Annual Convention; Philadelphia, PA; 2024

Event Details

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Paper Session #483
CE Offered: BACB
The Role of Verbal Behavior in Translation and Humor
Monday, May 27, 2024
12:00 PM–12:50 PM
Marriott Downtown, Level 5, Grand Ballroom Salon F
Area: TBA
Instruction Level: Intermediate
Chair: Jennifer A. Wade (Chestnut Hill College)
CE Instructor: Chiara Ferrari, M.S.

The Role of Context in Translation

Domain: Theory
CHIARA FERRARI (University of Nevada Reno), Matthew Lewon (University of Nevada, Reno)

The purpose of this theoretical paper is to enhance the behavior analytic interpretation of translation by thoroughly analyzing the role of context in all phases of translation. Translation will be discussed in terms of the behavior of both speakers and listeners, with special attention to the issue of meaning and how this is determined by context. Context, as defined, encompasses the field of interrelated stimuli and events that influence an individual's behavior in the present. The importance of translation across several domains of human activity will be discussed, and the conventional behavior analytic approach to analyzing speaker and listener roles in a verbal episode will be reviewed. Then, special characteristics of translation situations will be analyzed in terms of the role of individual contexts and meaning in acts of speaking/writing, listening/reading, and their interactions during translation. Finally, the role of context and meaning will be considered in three general translation situations: ordinary, technical, and artistic, each with specific aims and implications. The paper underscores the importance of considering context and aims as crucial factors influencing effective translation and communication.

We Aren’t Joking Around: A Behavior Analytic Conceptualization of Humor
Domain: Theory
JENNIFER A. WADE (Chestnut Hill College)
Abstract: Humor is an important characteristic of complex verbal behavior and interpersonal interactions. The current paper presents an original behavior analytic conceptualization of humor. Although verbal behavior of the speaker (or listener) is often identified as under multiple sources of control (Michael et al., 2011; Skinner, 1957), analysis of both members of the dyad can additionally identify sources of control for both members independently and overlapping sources of control as pertinent to both members of the dyad including the current environment and similarities in past history of both individuals. Thus, individuals are simultaneously both speakers and listeners but the dyad itself is also an important unit of analysis. Wade’s (2018) original conceptualization of flirtation is expanded to include an emphasis upon humor in dyadic interactions. Of emphasis is the role of verbal operants, mainly tacts and autoclitics, as operative in synonymous or roughly synonymous overarching reinforcement contingencies. By using such a model, humor can be analyzed across multiple time scales of analysis including single turns in conversation, single dyadic interactions, and repeated dyadic interactions. The relevance of such a model in describing humor in platonic interactions, romantic interactions, and entertainment (e.g., improvisation) will be discussed.



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