The construction of a pun generator for language skills development

Ruli Manurung, Graeme D Ritchie, Helen Pain, Annalu Waller, Dave O'Mara, Rolf Black

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

47 Citations (Scopus)


Since the early 1990s, there have been a number of small-scale computer programs that automatically constructed simple verbal jokes (puns), but none of these were fully developed systems that could be used for a practical application. We describe the building and testing of the STANDUP program - a large-scale, robust, interactive, user-friendly pun-generator (inspired by Binsted's JAPE program), which is aimed at allowing children, particularly those with communication disabilities, to develop their linguistic skills. The STANDUP system was designed in consultation with potential users and suitable experts, was rigorously engineered using public-domain linguistic data, and has a special purpose, child-friendly, graphical user interface. The software was tested successfully with real users (children with complex communication needs).
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)841-869
JournalApplied Artificial Intelligence
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - Oct 2008


  • computational humour
  • punning riddles
  • educational software
  • AAC
  • children
  • humorous acronyms


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