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

Posted on:2017-01-03Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:Y L YanFull Text:PDF
GTID:2295330485986173Subject:English Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Humor, as an old language phenomenon, is a common verbal communication pattern in our daily life. Because of the pervasiveness and significance of humor, the exploration of humor has never ceased through the ages. The history of humor studies can date back to the time of Plato and Aristotle. In early time, humor study is closely related to rhetoric while linguistic study on humor is, in most cases, conducted from the perspective of semantics or pragmatics. This indicates that most of the researches into humor in early times have been static studies. As a result, the interpretation of humor to a great extent is neither complete nor creative. In recent years, with the rapid development of cognitive science, there is a tendency to interpret humor taking the cognitive perspective, therefore shows the trend of diversification. The Conceptual Blending Theory, with its mighty explanatory power on the dynamic meaning construction, has provided new insights into exploring the dynamic production process of humor.Talk shows in America have mature patterns for their successive development and more importantly, hilarious language is an indispensable tool for talk shows to achieve humorous effects. This study selects 120 verbal humors from the famous American talk showThe Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon as research data based on the Conceptual Blending Theory proposed by Fauconnier and Turner, and combines both qualitative and quantitative methods to analyze typical examples in a dynamic way so as to specifically explore the following questions:(1) How to interpret verbal humors in The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon within the framework of the Conceptual Blending Theory?(2) What is the distribution of verbal humors in four types of integration networks, and why?The results of this study are as follows: Firstly, in the production process of verbal humor, the achievement of humorous effects largely depends on the emergent structure in the blend whose generation involves three interrelated cognitive processes. Secondly, in the four integration networks, single-scope networks accounts for the majority of verbal humors in the sampled talk show(48.33%) while double-scope networks score the lowest percentage(11.67%). It is chiefly because a talk show, as a conversation-based program,relies primarily on the interactions among the host, guests or audience in the studio. In most cases, theirspontaneous improvisationis greatly emphasized. As a consequence, there is no enough time to produce verbal humors belonging to the double-scope network which is considered as the most advanced and complex type of integration networks.The results of this study reveal the strong explanatory power of the Conceptual Blending Theory, broaden the application scope of this theory in humor study, hence, to some extent, reinforce the understanding of this theory.In the meantime, taken into consideration language features in talk shows, the present study systematically analyses factors that might have an impact on people’s comprehension and apprehension of verbal humor, with a view to helping readers achieve a better grasp of verbal humor in talk shows.
Keywords/Search Tags:verbal humor, Conceptual Blending Theory, talk shows, The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, meaning construction
PDF Full Text Request
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