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Title: An ambiguity-based theory of the linguistic verbal joke in English
Authors: Lew, Robert
Advisor: Sobkowiak, Włodzimierz
Keywords: humour
Issue Date: 1996
Abstract: The dissertation analyzes the role of linguistic ambiguity in canned linguistic verbal jokes in English. A typology of jokes based on the type of ambiguity underlying the joke is proposed. It is claimed that jokes based on ambiguity contain purposeful textual devices (ambiguators) enhancing the probability of both semantic interpretations being perceived by the recipient. The ambiguity-based theory of the joke offers an alternative justification for the featuring in jokes of contrasting characters representing different ethnic groups, age groups, etc, without having to make appeals to such psychosocial concepts as aggression or superiority. Other things being equal, the funniness of linguistic ambiguity-based jokes increases with the amount of ambiguity and decreases with the amount of ambiguation.
Description: Instytut Filologii Angielskiej
Appears in Collections:Doktoraty 1990-2009

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