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Licensed Unlicensed Requires Authentication Published by De Gruyter Mouton April 28, 2011

Resolutions and their incongruities: Further thoughts on Logical Mechanisms

  • Christian F. Hempelmann EMAIL logo and Salvatore Attardo EMAIL logo
From the journal HUMOR


This paper is a contribution to the study of the resolution of incongruities in humor. We reject some criticisms of logical mechanisms and analyze three different types of incongruities in humorous texts: completely backgrounded, backgrounded, and foregrounded. Only the latter are addressed by logical mechanisms. We identify a mechanism of “incongruity shifting” which may be a candidate for “deep” logical mechanism (along the lines of “parallelism” in Attardo et al. HUMOR: International Journal of Humor Research 15: 1–44, 2002). We finally discuss the similarities between Oring's (Engaging humor, University of Illinois Press, 2003) “appropriate incongruity” theory and our approach, which lead us to the conclusion that all resolution of incongruity in jokes is partial.

Published Online: 2011-04-28
Published in Print: 2011-May

© 2011 Walter de Gruyter GmbH & Co. KG, Berlin/New York

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