Dissertation > Language, writing > FOREIGN > English > Writing,rhetoric

Discourse Analysis of English Humorous Utterances in Two and a Half Men from the Perspective of Conversational Implicature

Author HuangZuo
Tutor ZhangRongGen
School Yangzhou University
Course Foreign Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Keywords Humorous Utterance Cooperative Principle Politeness Principle Two and a Half Men
CLC H315
Type Master's thesis
Year 2011
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Humor is one of the most effective ways of interpersonal communication. Humor language is wildly used in the form of conversation in everyday life which reflects some pragmatic features. The early research of humor was mainly focused on the perspective of philosophy and literary works. Since the1980s, with the development of pragmatics, humor has been the concern of pragmatic linguistics. The present study intends to explore the underlying mechanisms of humor found in American comedy Two and a Half Men within the framework of the two theoretical perspectives:Grice’s Cooperative Principle (CP) and Leech’s Politeness Principle (PP).Humor language plays an important role in sitcom. The sitcom Two and a Half Men is one of the most popular American sitcoms which has been regarded as an outstanding achievement for comedy in US. It contains plenty of interesting humorous dialogues and these examples provide analytical material for the pragmatic analysis.The purpose of this thesis is to explain the mechanisms of humor by means of relevant pragmatic theories. The author analyzes the numerous examples of humorous utterance through the theories of Cooperative Principle and Politeness Principle. From the perspective of methodology, the author employs qualitative analysis. The author first selected the humorous utterances in36episodes randomly form sitcom Two and a Half Men as data resources and then classify them into theories. The qualitative analysis is employed in the study of the sitcom in terms of the analyzing and illustrating in details. The paper makes a list of various rhetorical devices such as irony, metaphor, hyperbole, pun, euphemism and other language devices employed in English humor. The study shows that humor effect could be achieved by the deliberate flouting of the maxims of CP and deliberate flouting of the maxims of PP.Through the analysis, we will understand the way that the humorous effect achieved. It verified and developed the corresponding theoretical hypothesis by employing the pragmatic approach to the explanation of the mechanism of humor in sitcom. This study gave us some useful suggestions to understand the humorous utterances in English sitcoms and appreciate the humorous utterance in daily communication. It also provided great help in the English learning and teaching.

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