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H UMOROUS M ISCOMMUNICATION Władysław Chłopicki Krosno State College/ Jagiellonian University, Kraków.

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Presentation on theme: "H UMOROUS M ISCOMMUNICATION Władysław Chłopicki Krosno State College/ Jagiellonian University, Kraków."— Presentation transcript:

1 H UMOROUS M ISCOMMUNICATION Władysław Chłopicki Krosno State College/ Jagiellonian University, Kraków

2 C OMMUNICATION A CT Speaker Hearer Communication channel Context – physical, epistemic (cultural), social, linguistic (e.g. Langacker 2008)

3 H UMOR COMMUNICATION ACT HU (S,H,ST,E,P,SI,SO) = X (F or U) S – speaker H- hearer ST – stimulus E – experience SI – situation SO – society F – funny or U – unfunny (Raskin 1985)

4 E XPANDED HUMOUR FORMULAS HU (S,H,ST,Eh,Ph,SI,SOh) = X H – hearer’s experience, psychology or society VJ (S,H,T, Es, Eh,Esh, Ps, Ph, SI, SOh) = F T – text Raskin 1985

5 H UMOROUS I NTENTION 1/ you mean to be funny and you are funny 2/ you don’t mean to be funny and you are not funny 3/ you don’t mean to be funny, but you are funny 4/ you mean to be funny but you are not funny (cf. Raskin 1985 and Simpson 2003)

6 H UMOROUS MISCOMMUNICATION Unintentional humour (case 3) Pubic transport in Naples You have hissed all my mystery lectures (spoonerism) Please feel free to take advantage of the chambermaid (Japanese hotel) Not to perambulate the corridor in the hour of repose in the boots of ascension (Austrian ski resort)

7 H UMOROUS MISCOMMUNICATION Intention fails - case 4. Humour failure in physical, linguistic, social and epistemic context noise in the channel, hearer deaf or tired wrong delivery – punch line first punch line botched Information overload or scarcity (text too ‘dense’, or too ‘thin’)

8 H UMOROUS MISCOMMUNICATION Interpersonal problem lack of joking relationship, no humour competence in the hearer Humorous insult may fails: big, bad tempered tomato great sabre-toothed tart toxic midget he does know anything you are so ugly cultural problem – cultural assumption, impermissibility, cultural rhetoric

9 C ULTURAL RHETORIC discourse culture including discourse rules, channel/medium rules and linguistic creativity rules (e.g. those on the use of puns or irony) interaction-related aspects of the core values of the culture, e.g. harmony, respect, modesty, restraint, network of mutual obligations, role of language in the culture, tolerance for silence and ambiguity, and Hofstede’s cultural value dimensions intercultural model of turn taking intercultural tendencies in pragmatic usage and rules for the performance of particular speech acts (Clyne 1994)

10 V IRTUAL REALITY AND INTERPRETATION PATHS Interpretation of humorous texts crucially makes use of mental/ virtual reality the linguistic context gives clues which way the virtual reality is to go and which way the interpretation paths are to go the interpretation paths are conventionalized within a community.

11 C ONTEXT AND INFORMATIVITY low vs high context communication explicit vs implicit direct vs indirect literal vs metaphorical verbal vs visual individualist vs collectivist informativity (information density of the text, esp. new information) advanced first by de Beaugrande and Dressler (1981) and then e.g. by Giora (2003) and Ermida (2008) redundancy of texts

12 L OW C ONTEXT C HARACTER – F AWLTY T OWERS - I NTENTION Hutchinson : I have a rendezvous at five o’clock at this address which I must reach from the Post Office in Queen’s Square, so as the map is sadly inadequate I would be very grateful if you could draw me a diagram of the optimum route.... Basil : Look, it’s perfectly simple, you go to the end of Queen’s Parade, bear left... H: No, I just want a diagram. B: It’s really very simple. H: Well, I’d rather have the diagram if it does not put you out. B: I does put me out. H: Well, I’d like it all the same!

13 G ERMANS AT M EAT (K. M ANSFIELD ) English girl on vacation in Germany in a boarding house Conversing with Germans at dinner Conversational failure - unintentional miscommunication. Low context hits high context – humour results - I eat sauerkraut with great pleasure, but now I have eaten so much of it I am immediately forced to— A beautiful day, I cried

14 G ERMANS AT M EAT I can make very good tea. The great secret is to warm the teapot Warm the teapot! What do you warm the teapot for? Ha! Ha! That’s very good! One does not eat the teapot, I suppose? So that is the great secret of your English tea? All you do is to warm the teapot.

15 C ONCLUSION Humour is a potentially dangerous conversational strategy Use it with care!


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