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A Pragmatic Analysis Of English Humor In Jokes

5524 words - 23 pages

A Pragmatic Analysis of English Humor in jokes


Looking back at the history, humorous language and behaviour had been treated as frivolous, ludicrous, and even evil. However, with the development of social civilization, people have gradually realized that humour actually is indispensable for our monotonous and regular life. Humour is embodied in operas, movies, writings, conversations, etc. And the most common type is humorous conversations.
In many pragmatics books, lots of humorous conversations can be found, which are employed to analyze pragmatics. So we can see that humour and pragmatics are closely connected. However, papers about humorous language with a ...view middle of the document...

1 Conversational Implicature in English Humour 15
3.2 PP in English Humour 18
3.3 Presupposition in English Humour 19
4 Conclusion 20
References 22

1 An Introduction to Humour

1.1 Definitions of Humour

On the humor, there is a lot of research, but so far there is no precise definition, humorous recognized academic fields. Some commonly used here to review existing definitions below.
In the Oxford English Dictionary, the "humor" is "Quality is funny or comedy" or "appreciation of things, situations or those comics; the ability to be a competent person pastime."
In Webster's New World Dictionary of American English, it is "a) kind of character, called for a sense of ridiculous or absurd disproportionate; b) Department of Psychology, found that the expression, or enjoy the ridiculous or absurd disproportionate; c) things, it is possible to design a funny or interesting. "
Rick Walton humor theory for twenty years more than fifty children humor books. He concluded that there is no threat or promise humorous surprise. According to his theory, everyone has expectations of how the world works, when something happens in the opposite expectation, people are surprised. And along the surprise must lack threat. For example, if a girl walking in a dark street, a robber was shocked, she was surprised, but she does not find the situation amusing. In addition, when an unexpected display of commitments to meet the hopes and solve the problem, they are satisfied, happy, or too happy, but they do not really find it funny. For example, a person buy sports lottery, and two weeks later someone called him and told him he was the winner of one million yuan. It is a surprise? Yes, but this is not funny. When the archaeologists found the tomb of the ancient Wang Zhaoguo when a student discovered a new way to solve math problems, there is a surprise, but there is no sense of humor. Therefore, we can conclude that not every surprise is humorous, but each has a surprise humor, that is, you expect something suddenly.
Warren Shibles, a philosophy professor at the University of Wisconsin- Whitewater, need humor from thought was wrong or harmful, but which is not a bad view. This, then, would produce laughter and body feel good. According to this definition, when someone feels that there is a mistake in some other vocal or physical behavior, he may feel funny. Here's error may be inconsistent with the concept of normal behavior between. For example,
Why does an elephant wear a pair of red socks?
Because his yellow ones are in the wash.
The joke is beyond our normal concepts. We do not think that elephants should wear socks. So the answer is beyond our expectations. We find it very funny, because we believe that it is unrealistic and absurd logic.
But once the mistake appears to be harmful it is no longer funny. For example, we laugh if someone stepped on a banana peel, but stop laughing if his injured leg....

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