An Exploration in the language of Humor in English

Homa Mahna


The purpose of this study is to investigate why certain discourse textual maneuverings are perceived as humorous. The main focus is on the written forms of humor, precisely English jokes or word play which were analyzed in order to see how much humorous effect is created on the recipients through the violation of how many and what combinations of Gricean Maxims in these jokes. Being descriptive in nature, this research speculated on whether there are differences in the degree of humor among the three selected combinations of Gricean maxims. Through the analysis of selected data and checking their degree of humor on a few M.A students some results were obtained which show the similarities and differences in the degree of humor concerning the mentioned three different combinations. In conclusion, we found that these three various combinations of Gricean maxims have little humorous effect on the concerned-recipients.



verbal humor, Gricean maxims, pragmatic jokes

Full Text:



Alexander, R. J. ( 1993). Breaking Out of the Cage: English and German Verbal Humor in a Socio-semiotic Perspective. Trier University. Germany. In: Humor Abstracts of International Conference on Humor, Grand-Douche De Luxembourg, (30 SEP - 3 OCT, 1993)

Attardo, S. (1994). Linguistic Theories of Humor. Berlin: Mouton.

Bruyn, D. (1993). The Principle of Interest in the Joke Text. Potchefstroom University for Christian higher Education In: Humor Abstracts of International Conference on Humor, Grand - Douche De Luxembourg, (30 SEP - 3 Oct, 1993).

Chiaro, D. (1992). The Language of Jokes: Analyzing verbal play. London: Rout ledge.

Culler, J. (1982). On Deconstruction: Theory and Criticism After Structuralism. Ithaca and New York, Cornell University Press. .

Good man, J. (1983). How to Get More Smile age Out of Your Life. In: P.E. McGhee and Goldstein (Ed.), Handbook of Humor Research, Vol. 1.New York: Springer.

Gusheva, J..M. (1998). Humor in Literature. In Shine Issue, Part 5, Oct NOV, 1998. (Extracted from Internet).

Haff, J. and Kline, M. (1993). Monsieur Jourdain's Bow: The Poetics of Moliere's Comic Metaphors'. In: Humor Abstracts of International Conference on Humor. Grand Douche De Luxembourg, (30 SEP30Ct, 1993).

Krushink, S. (1959). Laughter of the Centuries . Dzhepna Knjiga, Sarajevo. (Extracted from Internet).

Lyons, J. (1981). Language and Linguistics. C U P.

McGhee, P.E. (1983). The Role of Arousal and Hemispheric Lateralization in Humor. In: P.E. McGhee and J.H. Goldstein, eds., Handbook of Humor Research. Vol. I. New York: Springer.

Mills, M. (1995). Humor and Satire as Different Forms of Comedy. Australian Journal of Comedy. Vol. 1.

Nash, W.(1985).The Language of Humor. Style and Technique in Comic Discourse. London. Longman.

Pepicello, W.J. and R.W. Weisberg. (1983). Linguistics and Humor . In: P.E. McGhee and J.H. Goldstein (Eds.), Handbook of Humor Research, Vol. 1, 59-83. New York: Springer.

Raskin, V. (1985). Semantic Mechanism of Humor. Dordrecht: Reidel.

Robinson, V.M. (1983). Humor and Health. In: P.E. McGhee and J.H. Goldstein, (Eds.), Handbook of Humor Research, Vol. II. New York, Springer.

Ruch, W.(1998). The Perception of Humor. Department of Physiological Psychology, Heinrich Heine University of Düsseldorf, Germany (Extracted from Internet).

Suls, J.M.(1983). Cognitive Processes in Humor Appreciation. In: P.E. McGhee and J. H . Goldstein, (eds.), Handbook of Humor Research, Vol. I. 39-59. New York. Springer.

Ziv, A. (1984). Personality and Sense of Humor. Springer Publishing Company, Inc.



  • There are currently no refbacks.

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

2012-2023 (CC-BY) Australian International Academic Centre PTY.LTD

International Journal of Applied Linguistics and English Literature

To make sure that you can receive messages from us, please add the journal emails into your e-mail 'safe list'. If you do not receive e-mail in your 'inbox', check your 'bulk mail' or 'junk mail' folders.