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New from Oxford University Press!


It's Been Said Before

By Orin Hargraves

It's Been Said Before "examines why certain phrases become clichés and why they should be avoided -- or why they still have life left in them."

New from Cambridge University Press!


Sounds Fascinating

By J. C. Wells

How do you pronounce biopic, synod, and Breughel? - and why? Do our cake and archaic sound the same? Where does the stress go in stalagmite? What's odd about the word epergne? As a finale, the author writes a letter to his 16-year-old self.

Book Information


Title: Meaning and Humor
Written By: Andrew Goatly
Series Title: Key Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics

How are humorous meanings generated and interpreted? Understanding a joke involves knowledge of the language code (a matter mostly of semantics) and background knowledge necessary for making the inferences to get the joke (a matter of pragmatics). This book introduces and critiques a wide range of semantic and pragmatic theories in relation to humour, such as systemic functional linguistics, speech acts, politeness and relevance theory, emphasising not only conceptual but also interpersonal and textual meanings. Exploiting recent corpus-based research, it suggests that much humour can be accounted for by the overriding of lexical priming. Each chapter's discussion topics and suggestions for further reading encourage a critical approach to semantic and pragmatic theory. Written by an experienced lecturer on the linguistics of the English language, this is an entertaining and user-friendly textbook for advanced students of semantics, pragmatics and humour studies. Table of Contents 1. Introduction 2. Meaning in the language system: aspects of form and meaning 3. Semantics and conceptual meaning of grammar 4. Semantics and the conceptual meaning of lexis 5. Personal, social and affective meanings 6. Textual meaning and genre 7. Metaphor and figures of speech 8. Pragmatics, reference and speech-acts 9. Pragmatics: co-operation and politeness 10. Relevance theory, schemas and deductive inference 11. Lexical priming: information, collocation, predictability and humour.

Publication Year: 2012
Publisher: Cambridge University Press
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Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics
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Format: Paperback
ISBN-13: 9780521181068
Pages: 380
Prices: U.S. $ 35.99

ISBN-13: 9781107004634
Pages: 380
Prices: U.S. $ 95.00