Title

Lexical priming in humorous discourse

Document Type

Journal article

Source Publication

European Journal of Humour Research

Publication Date

1-1-2017

Volume

5

Issue

1

First Page

52

Last Page

68

Publisher

Cracow Tertium Society for the Promotion of Language Studies

Keywords

Collocation, Jokes, Lexical priming, Liberation theory of humour

Abstract

This article discusses the relationship between lexical priming and humour. Since incongruity, unpredictability and ambiguity are often associated with humour theory, the article explores the possibility that many jokes or unintended humour depend upon the overriding of lexical priming. Using the Cobuild Bank of English to investigate priming using collocational statistics, the article analyses eight jokes/humorous utterances to demonstrate and test this possibility. While in many cases humour can be explained by cancelling priming, there are some interesting exceptions which are discussed. Finally, an attempt is made to place the idea of cancelling lexical priming in the context of the theory of humour as liberation.

DOI

10.7592/EJHR2017.5.1.goatly

E-ISSN

2307700X

Publisher Statement

Access to external full text or publisher's version may require subscription.

Full-text Version

Publisher’s Version

Recommended Citation

Goatly, A. (2017). Lexical priming in humorous discourse. European Journal of Humour Research, 5(1), 52-68. doi: 10.7592/EJHR2017.5.1.goatly

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