International Journal of Humor Research
Editor-in-Chief: Ford, Thomas E.
4 Issues per year
IMPACT FACTOR 2016: 0.655
5-year IMPACT FACTOR: 0.718
CiteScore 2016: 0.94
SCImago Journal Rank (SJR) 2016: 0.458
Source Normalized Impact per Paper (SNIP) 2016: 0.759
The purpose of this paper is to provide a new definition of pun, in order to describe it in a cross-linguistic perspective and to point out that puns, as verbal humorous phenomena which exploit ordinary phonetic processes, are universal. The definition is tested through a comparison among puns in 15 languages belonging to different families. I show that puns always imply the manipulation of a string through mechanisms involving all the elements of the phonetic chain. Such manipulation is realized in all possible string and syllable domains, tendentially within the threshold of five elements. Taking into account the progressive improvements in linguistic models of puns, the present study also provides a synthetic overview of the literature on puns and related phenomena. Results include some phonetic elements not considered in previous studies; a cross-linguistic formulation of phonetic distance between target and pun is also proposed.
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