Sunday, January 27, 2008

Taylor Mali stand-up routine

For your viewing pleasure, a stand-up routine predicated on the (supposedly) increasing usage of evidential/epistemic tags, or decreasing usage of outright declarative assertions, in English:

The person doing the routine [1], Taylor Mali, presents himself as having issues with the lack of certainty conveyed by utterances tagged with elements like "you know," or with a question intonation. I wonder if this stand-up routine would fly in front of native speakers of Cree and Quechua, where utterances with evidential/epistemic interpretations are more common than outright assertions?

Not sure what else to say when one of my favourite procrastination methods (Stumble-Upon) leads me to a YouTube video that is directly relevant to my research. Maybe the research gods are trying to tell me that I've been procrastinating too much and should get back to work...
[1] I've looked him up a bit - I thought he was a comedian, but it turns out he's a teacher and "slam poet" - so maybe it isn't a stand-up routine, but a poetry slam.