Title

Meaning and humour

Document Type

Book

Publication Date

2012

Publisher

Cambridge University Press

Abstract

How are humorous meanings generated and interpreted? Understanding a joke involves knowledge of the language code (a matter mostly of semantics) and background knowledge necessary for making the inferences to get the joke (a matter of pragmatics). This book introduces and critiques a wide range of semantic and pragmatic theories in relation to humour, such as systemic functional linguistics, speech acts, politeness, and Relevance Theory, emphasising not only conceptual but also interpersonal and textual meanings. Exploiting recent corpus-based research, it suggests that much humour can be accounted for by the overriding of lexical priming. Each chapter's discussion topics and suggestions for further reading encourage a critical approach to semantic and pragmatic theory. Written by an experienced lecturer on the linguistics of the English language, this is an entertaining and user-friendly textbook for advanced students of semantics, pragmatics and humour studies.

DOI

10.1017/CBO9780511791536

ISBN

9780511791536

Publisher Statement

Copyright © 2012 Cambridge University Press. Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Goatly, A. (2012). Meaning and humour. New York: Cambridge University Press. doi: 10.1017/CBO9780511791536