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A Study Of English Humor From The Perspective Of Conceptual Blending Theory

Posted on:2014-12-23Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Z ZhangFull Text:PDF
GTID:2255330425456679Subject:Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Humor, as a pervasive language phenomenon existing in human communication,has been playing an essential part in everyday life. Because its generation mechanisminvolves in many disciplines, the researches on humor have been conducted fromvarious perspectives, such as sociolinguistics, linguistic philosophy, cognitivelinguistics, rhetoric, anthropology, aesthetics, and pragmatics. These studies onlanguage humor have offered people great understanding and interpretation onlanguage humor.Generation mechanism and understanding of humorous language in people‘smind can be interpreted from different points of view in cognitive linguistics,including Semantic Theory of Humor (SSTH), General Theory of Verbal Humor(GTVH) and Conceptual Blending Theory (CBT) and so on and so forth. ConceptualBlending Theory (CBT), put forward by Gills Fauconnier in1994, aims to explore thespecific cognitive process based on mental space blending and dynamic on-linemeaning construction. Based on this very theory---Conceptual Blending Theory, thispaper applies it to a British comedy rich in humor: Mind Your Language. The comedywas premiered on ITV (Independent Television) in1977and set in an adult educationcollege in London. It focuses on English as a foreign language course which is taughtby Mr. Jeremy Brown who has to deal with a motley crew of foreign students. Due todifferent language and culture from the students, the discourse in class is full ofhumor. Based on the cases from Mind Your Language, English humor is analyzedfrom three main perspectives respectively, namely, the mechanism and process ofmeaning construction in English humor, the disintegration and blending of Englishhumor, and main factors affecting the meaning generation of English humor.The process of thinking is constructed by conceptual blending network, which is a quite common psychological process during the meaning construction in naturallanguage and run in mental space. It is very basic to understand the humor generationmechanism. The paper discusses its mechanism of meaning generation from twoangles, mapping mechanism and blending mechanism. Based on the humorouscases in Mind Your Language, the meaning construction is analyzed from integrationto disintegration and from disintegration to integration respectively. Case studies arebased on the four basic network models, including simplex network, mirror network,single-scope network, and double-scope network. The different structures andfeatures of the four network models are well illustrated with the examples in diagrams,and according to their own operation mechanism, the English humorous effect isnaturally generated.In order to explore the real reason hidden behind each humor, this paper alsoconducts case study on disintegration and blending of language humor in Mind YourLanguage and finds that conception can be disintegrated into different meanings andresulted in misunderstandings. Through Bache‘s three-order integration diagram, thepaper explains the specific process of disintegration and integration and concludesthat they are proceeding at the same time during the meaning construction. What ismore, the blending of humor conception is studied from form and meaning for furtherunderstanding of English humor. Though disintegration and blending are shownseparately with different cases, it is necessary to point out they are actually mixedtogether during the mental space blending and dynamic on-line meaning generation.This study also discusses that meaning construction of English humor isinfluenced by three main factors, namely, context, affection, and culture. It holds thatcontext in CBT is mainly influenced from linguistic and non-linguistic, affection isfrom individual and collective, and culture is mostly from language and society. InConceptual Blending Theory, these factors are forming a ground box as people‘scognitive competence. The awareness of these elements will definitely enhance theunderstanding of English Humor. At last, this paper concludes the major findings and limitations of the study aswell offers some suggestions to facilitate audience‘s comprehension of English humorwith the hope that it can shred some light on the use and application of CBT in abroader field.
Keywords/Search Tags:English humor, Conceptual Blending Theory, meaning construction, disintegration, blending
PDF Full Text Request
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