Linguistic Basis of Humor In Uses of Grice’s Cooperative Principle

Weiwei Pan


Grice’s Cooperative Principle (CP) was originally presented at Harvard University in 1967 as part of the William James lectures. Once established, Cooperative Principle had a widespread impact on a range of scholar activity, from work interested in the narrowest issues of language meaning to work interested in the broadest questions of social communication. As is known, verbal humor is a genre of linguistics interaction that often emerges in daily conversation. This paper is aimed at probing into the linguistic basis involved in the process of language humor from the perspective of Grice’s CP. It is also intended to reveal the relation between creation of humor and violation of cooperative principle, and then give critical comments on Grice’s cooperative principle, which mainly focuses on limitations Grice’s cooperative principle. Finally, the essay has a natural conclusion for contribution of study pragmatics of conversational principle, and its application in other fields.  



Grice’s Cooperative Principle, humor, violation

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