LINGUIST List 23.5264

Fri Dec 14 2012

Books: Meaning and Humor: Goatly

Editor for this issue: Rebekah McClure <>

Date: 29-Nov-2012
From: Joyce Reid <>
Subject: Meaning and Humor: Goatly
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Title: Meaning and HumorSeries Title: Key Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics

Publication Year: 2012Publisher: Cambridge University Press

Book URL:

Author: Andrew Goatly

Paperback: ISBN: 9780521181068 Pages: 380 Price: U.S. $ 35.99: ISBN: 9781107004634 Pages: 380 Price: U.S. $ 95.00


How are humorous meanings generated and interpreted? Understanding a jokeinvolves knowledge of the language code (a matter mostly of semantics) andbackground knowledge necessary for making the inferences to get the joke (amatter of pragmatics). This book introduces and critiques a wide range ofsemantic and pragmatic theories in relation to humour, such as systemicfunctional 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 beaccounted for by the overriding of lexical priming. Each chapter's discussiontopics and suggestions for further reading encourage a critical approach tosemantic and pragmatic theory. Written by an experienced lecturer on thelinguistics of the English language, this is an entertaining and user-friendlytextbook for advanced students of semantics, pragmatics and humour studies.

Table of Contents

1. Introduction2. Meaning in the language system: aspects of form and meaning3. Semantics and conceptual meaning of grammar4. Semantics and the conceptual meaning of lexis5. Personal, social and affective meanings6. Textual meaning and genre7. Metaphor and figures of speech8. Pragmatics, reference and speech-acts9. Pragmatics: co-operation and politeness10. Relevance theory, schemas and deductive inference11. Lexical priming: information, collocation, predictability and humour.

Linguistic Field(s): Pragmatics Semantics

Written In: English (eng)

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