Literature and humour: A relevance theory approach

Talk by Francisco Yus (University of Alicante, Spain). This lecture is connected to the researcher group "Literature, Cognition and Emotions". Everybody is welcome!

In this talk, I am going to review several aspects pertaining to literature and humour.

Firstly, I will introduce briefly some of the basic tenets of relevance theory which are supposed to be at work in the production and interpretation of any kind of discourse (utterances, typed messages, written texts).

Secondly, I will propose an extension of the relevance-theoretic model so as to include a pair of terms that are essential to explain the outcome of certain kinds of communication such as irony, humour or Internet-mediated discourse: the terms contextual constraint and non-intended non-propositional effect.

Thirdly, some ideas on the application of relevance theory to literature and humour, taken separately, will be provided.

Finally, some ideas on how the possible analysis of the specificity of humour in literature will be put forward, in an attempt to provide a valid explanation to the fact that long sequences of discourse such as novels cannot have the same clear structure as do shorter forms of humorous discourse such as jokes or short stand-up comedy monologues.

Published Oct. 7, 2016 11:56 AM - Last modified July 5, 2019 11:17 AM