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Conceptual Blending Study On Verbal Humor

Posted on:2017-01-24Degree:MasterType:Thesis
Country:ChinaCandidate:C DaiFull Text:PDF
GTID:2335330563950751Subject:Foreign Language and Literature
Abstract/Summary:PDF Full Text Request
Humor,a language phenomenon prevalent in daily life,deserves our attention.The humor study enjoys a long history,and a large number studies have been conducted by sociologists,psychologists,philosophers and linguists.Linguistically,verbal humor studies are mainly constrained to the semantic and pragmatic domain.In recent years,scholars maintain that the process of achievement of humorous effect is dynamic in nature.With the development of cognitive science,an increasing number of linguists have begun to adopt a cognitive approach for a better interpretation.Conceptual Blending Theory,as a core of cognitive linguistics,with which the analysis of dynamic meaning construction can be conducted.Therefore,it has provided new insights into humor study and yielded fruitful achievements.Nevertheless,as to the application of CBT in interpreting verbal humor in literature works,very little research has been done in this regard.Therefore,this thesis attempts to uncover the dynamic process of how the humorous effect can be achieved by the readers.This thesis selects 100 pieces of verbal humor from Ch'ien Chung-shu's Fortress Besieged and conducts qualitative studies of them within the framework of CBT.The collected corpus has been analyzed from the following aspects: First of all,classifying the 100 pieces of humor according to the four types of conceptual integration network and figuring out the distribution of verbal humors,and then the reasons for this distribution will be analyzed.After that,selecting two specific examples of each type to interpret the meaning construction in detail aiming to understand the features of each type of verbal humor.Lastly,through corpus analysis and interpretation,the major factors that affect people's understanding of verbal humor will be summarized.The major findings in this thesis include three aspects: firstly,through categorized analyses of the verbal humor in Fortress Besieged,it has been shown that CBT can illustrate certain types of verbal humor in literature works.The dynamic meaning construction of verbal humor based on CBT,similar to the meaning construction of other language phenomena,needs the construction and interaction of four mental spaces.Secondly,according to selected examples from Fortress Besieged,verbal humor belonging to the single-scope network makes up the highest proportion,while verbal humor belonging to the simplex network is the least.There are some reasons for it.Humorous effect results from the successful blending of seemingly incompatible matrix,the stronger the conflicts are,the stronger humorous effects will be.However,compared with the single-scope network,both simplex and mirror networks have only one frame,thus the conflicts between two concepts are less stronger than those in two frames.Therefore,the number of verbal humors produced by these two networks will be lower than the single-scope network.As to the lower percentage of double-scope network,there might be two reasons.One might be related to the small number of sampled research material.The other might be that the double-scope network is the most complicated type of conceptual blending,verbal humor created via this network is more toilsome and time-consuming when the author was writing the book.In turn,if writers use a lot of complex and obscure humors,the readers can't fully understand the author's intention.Thirdly,a thorough and comprehensive understanding of verbal humor requires the combination of different aspects of knowledge.This study discusses some factors that mainly affect people's understanding of humor,namely,historical factors,social and cultural knowledge and the subjective attitude of the writer.This thesis makes an analysis of verbal humor in Fortress Besieged by dint of CBT.Through the studies of verbal humor in conceptual integration network,the explanatory power of CBT in interpreting verbal humor in literary text has been verified.Moreover,this thesis also provides a new angle for the readers to understand and appreciate such kind of language phenomenon in fiction.
Keywords/Search Tags:Verbal humor, Conceptual Blending Theory, Fortress Besieged, Meaning construction, Cognitive mechanism
PDF Full Text Request
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