Laughter in spontaneous German dialogue: linguistic strategies for expressing humour Humour is a topic which has been investigated at length for a long period and across different disciplines, from rhetoric to philosophy, from psychology to linguistics and sociology. Every discipline has contributed with its approach to shape the modern definition of humour, i.e. the human ability or attitude to react to certain situations calm and cheerfully. As stated by Kruger (1996: 235) this attitude represents “one of the few universals applicable to all people and all languages throughout the world” which can be expressed through written, verbal or visual techniques. The wide Humour Studies-literature mainly concentrates on specific humorous forms, such as parody, jokes etc., but it has never offered a broader perspective on the whole phenomenon and how it works. Starting from its etymology (Lat. comĭcus; Gr. Kōmikós from kômos ‘song’), humour has its roots in the oral tradition and this research aims to analyse the phenomenon of verbal humour from a linguistic point of view. Particular attention will be paid to the linguistic and rhetoric strategies people use to convey humour within spontaneous conversation. A corpus of forty examples of humorous passages taken from transcribed dialogues have been selected and analysed. Examples have been chosen starting from the presence of laughter in the text, intended as a cue for humour. In the corpus there are no examples of specific humour forms, (eg. jokes) and results show that verbal humour is mostly conveyed either through rhetoric or morpho-syntactic strategies (such as temporal conjunctions, adverbs, intensifying prefixes and left-dislocation) that shape texts in a way to give clues to the hearer to perceive and identify humour. Moreover, prosody plays a significant role, in fact it can operate either together with other linguistic and para-linguistic markers of humour or on its own, being used as strategy to display conversational solidarity and to share a common ground with the interlocutor. This work is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to the review of the humour literature and the state of the art. The first chapter presents and discusses the specific terminology related to Humour Studies and makes reference to the well-known theories of humour, i.e. the Superiority Theory, the Incongruity Theory and the Relief Theory. The second chapter discusses the linguistic theories of humour within spontaneous speech. Particular emphasis has been given to the linguistic strategies (humour factors and markers) and the pragmatic functions of the phenomenon. Moreover, the function of laughter has been deeply investigated, since it represents the starting point to empirically detect humour in the text. The second part is dedicated to experimentation. Chapters one and two explain and justify the research methodology and the corpus collection. Chapter three is dedicated to the corpus analysis, while in chapter four the results of the analysis are discussed. Finally, a last chapter synthetizes the results of this works and suggests new possible scenarios for further research.

LA RISATA NEL DIALOGO SPONTANEO TEDESCO: MEZZI LINGUISTICI PER L'ESPRESSIONE DELL'UMORISMO / N. Calpestrati ; TUTOR: E. A. DI VENOSA, M. FOSCHI ALBERT ; COORDINATORE: M. V. CALVI. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI LINGUE E LETTERATURE STRANIERE, 2019 Jan 17. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/calpestrati-nicolo_phd2019-01-17].

LA RISATA NEL DIALOGO SPONTANEO TEDESCO: MEZZI LINGUISTICI PER L'ESPRESSIONE DELL'UMORISMO.

N. Calpestrati
2019-01-17

Abstract

Laughter in spontaneous German dialogue: linguistic strategies for expressing humour Humour is a topic which has been investigated at length for a long period and across different disciplines, from rhetoric to philosophy, from psychology to linguistics and sociology. Every discipline has contributed with its approach to shape the modern definition of humour, i.e. the human ability or attitude to react to certain situations calm and cheerfully. As stated by Kruger (1996: 235) this attitude represents “one of the few universals applicable to all people and all languages throughout the world” which can be expressed through written, verbal or visual techniques. The wide Humour Studies-literature mainly concentrates on specific humorous forms, such as parody, jokes etc., but it has never offered a broader perspective on the whole phenomenon and how it works. Starting from its etymology (Lat. comĭcus; Gr. Kōmikós from kômos ‘song’), humour has its roots in the oral tradition and this research aims to analyse the phenomenon of verbal humour from a linguistic point of view. Particular attention will be paid to the linguistic and rhetoric strategies people use to convey humour within spontaneous conversation. A corpus of forty examples of humorous passages taken from transcribed dialogues have been selected and analysed. Examples have been chosen starting from the presence of laughter in the text, intended as a cue for humour. In the corpus there are no examples of specific humour forms, (eg. jokes) and results show that verbal humour is mostly conveyed either through rhetoric or morpho-syntactic strategies (such as temporal conjunctions, adverbs, intensifying prefixes and left-dislocation) that shape texts in a way to give clues to the hearer to perceive and identify humour. Moreover, prosody plays a significant role, in fact it can operate either together with other linguistic and para-linguistic markers of humour or on its own, being used as strategy to display conversational solidarity and to share a common ground with the interlocutor. This work is divided into two parts. The first part is dedicated to the review of the humour literature and the state of the art. The first chapter presents and discusses the specific terminology related to Humour Studies and makes reference to the well-known theories of humour, i.e. the Superiority Theory, the Incongruity Theory and the Relief Theory. The second chapter discusses the linguistic theories of humour within spontaneous speech. Particular emphasis has been given to the linguistic strategies (humour factors and markers) and the pragmatic functions of the phenomenon. Moreover, the function of laughter has been deeply investigated, since it represents the starting point to empirically detect humour in the text. The second part is dedicated to experimentation. Chapters one and two explain and justify the research methodology and the corpus collection. Chapter three is dedicated to the corpus analysis, while in chapter four the results of the analysis are discussed. Finally, a last chapter synthetizes the results of this works and suggests new possible scenarios for further research.
DI VENOSA, ELENA ANGELA
CALVI, MARIA VITTORIA
Settore L-LIN/14 - Lingua e Traduzione - Lingua Tedesca
LA RISATA NEL DIALOGO SPONTANEO TEDESCO: MEZZI LINGUISTICI PER L'ESPRESSIONE DELL'UMORISMO / N. Calpestrati ; TUTOR: E. A. DI VENOSA, M. FOSCHI ALBERT ; COORDINATORE: M. V. CALVI. - : . DIPARTIMENTO DI LINGUE E LETTERATURE STRANIERE, 2019 Jan 17. ((31. ciclo, Anno Accademico 2018. [10.13130/calpestrati-nicolo_phd2019-01-17].
Doctoral Thesis
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: http://hdl.handle.net/2434/612111
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