A Pragmatic Study of Humor

Sura Dhiaa Ibraheem, Nawal Fadhil Abbas


Linguistically speaking, the concept of humor, which seems to be vast for people, has specific dimensions by which it is generated including: puns, irony, sarcasm, wittiness, and contrastive utterances in relation to the speakers of those utterances. It is about how the extra linguistics elements dominate the situation and the delivery of humor. The researchers of the present paper intend to show how the selected literary extract can be subjected to a linguistic pragmatic analysis and then be explained by applying the incongruity theory of humor by Kant (1790) in order to show the ways or the mechanisms that lead to the flouting, infringing and the violation of Gricean maxims can consequently lead to the creation of humor. Despite the fact that the present paper is qualitative in nature, some tables are provided by the researchers in order to reach into a better, deeper and more understandable analysis. Investigating the ways Gricean maxims are flouted, infringed and violated to create humor, and showing how the imperfect use of language sometimes create unintentional humor are the researchers’ aims of this paper.

Keywords: pragmatics, humor, implicature, Gricean maxims, Measure for Measure

Full Text:



Blackwell, E, S. (2003). Implicature in Discourse: The Case of Spanish NP Anaphora.Philadelphia, PA: John Benjamin.

Brooks, P. J & Kemp, V. (2012). Language Development. London, LND: John Wiley v& Sons Ltd.

Chapman, S & Clark, B. (2014). Pragmatic Literary Stylistics. Liverpool, LP: Palgrave.

Chiaro, D. (2010). Translation, humor and Literature: Translation and Humor. London, LND: Bloomsbury.

Davis, W, A. (2007). Implicature: Intention, Convention, and Principle in the Failure of Gricean Theory. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Grice, H, P. (1975). Logic and Conversation. London, LND: Elsevier.

Hyland, P. (2011). Disguise on the Early Modern English Stage. Farnham: Ashgate.

Huang, Y. (2010). The Oxford Dictionary of Pragmatics. Oxford: Oxford Dictionary Press.

Hazlitt, W. (1841). Lectures on the English Comic Writers. London, LND: John Templeman.

Lnnes, Sh. (2004). Measure for Measure: Cambridge University Guide. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Morrison, M, K. (2012). Using Humor to Maximize Living: Connecting with Humor. (2nd ed.) Plymouth: R & L Education.

Montogomery, B. (1997). Core Curriculum for Holistic Nursing. Maryland, Md: Aspen Publishers.

Martin, R, A. (2007). The Psychology of Humor: An integrative Approach. California, Calif: Academic Press.

Moreal, J. (1983). Taking Laughter Seriously. New York, NY: New York Press.

Neergaard, H. & UlhØi, J, P. (2007). Handbook of Qualitative Research Methodin Entrepreneurship. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar publishing.

Nagarajan, S. (1964). Measure for Measure. New York, NY: The New American Library.

Renkema, J. (2004). Introduction to Discourse Studies. Philadelphia: John Benjamin.

Rishal, M, A. (2002). Writing Humor: Creativity and the Comic Mind. Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press.

Roeckelein, J, E. (2006). Elsevier’s Dictionary of Psychology Theories. London, LND:Elsevier.

Ritchie, G. (2004). Analysis of Jokes. London, LND: Routledge.

Snyder, B, M. (2011). Daffy Definitions for Seniors: With a Laugh and Prayer. New London, LND: Twenty-Third Publication.

Thomas, J, A. (1995). Meaning in Interaction: An Introduction to Pragmatics. London, LND: Routledge.

Walker, N, A. (1998). What’s So Funny?: Humor in American Culture. Wilmington:Rowman.


  • There are currently no refbacks.

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.

2010-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD.

Advances in Language and Literary Studies

You may require to add the 'aiac.org.au' domain to your e-mail 'safe list’ If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox'. Otherwise, you may check your 'Spam mail' or 'junk mail' folders.