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Humor and conversational maxims
2003 (English)Independent thesis Basic level (degree of Bachelor)Student thesis
Abstract [en]

Title: Humour and the conversational maxims -How scriptwriters use the breaking of the conversational maxims in order to create humour in situation comedies Author: Andersson, Therése English C, 2003-07-14 Pages: 40 Communication is a complicated phenomenon that is discussed by many researchers. Paul Grice, an American linguist, suggested that our language works according to four conversational maxims: the Maxim of Quality, the Maxim of Quantity, the Maxim of Manner, and the Maxim of Relevance, who he summarized as the Cooperative Principle. In brief, he claims that the Cooperative Principle is the reason why people can work out implied meaning and why language in general works so well. However, on many occasions the Cooperative Principle does not work so well, and people misunderstand each other. Grice was aware of this fact, and therefore he introduced four categories, who exemplify different ways of how people may break the conversational maxims: flouting a maxim, violating a maxim, infringing a maxim, and opting out of a maxim. Furthermore, after some criticism had been aimed at Grice’s theory, a fifth category was suggested: suspending a maxim. These categories show how people may fail to observe the Cooperative Principle, intentionally or unintentionally. The aim of this paper was to investigate the Cooperative Principle and how frequently scriptwriters use breakings of the conversational maxims in order to create humour in situation comedies. The study was based on totally 180 humorous examples from three episodes of each of The 3rd Ball From the Sun, The Nanny and Friends. Furthermore, the sample was analysed and categorised according to what caused humour on each occasion. Thereafter, the results were summed up in a table. In brief, this paper shows that scriptwriters commonly use breaks of the Cooperative Principle in order to accomplish humour in situation comedies.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2003. , 41 p.
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-53720Local ID: ENG C-15OAI: oai:DiVA.org:kau-53720DiVA: diva2:1102280
Subject / course
English
Available from: 2017-05-29 Created: 2017-05-29

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Citation style
  • apa
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  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
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Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
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  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
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Output format
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