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Lodz Papers in Pragmatics

Founded by Cap, Piotr

Editor-in-Chief: Chilton, Paul / Kopytowska, Monika


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There Is Method in the Humorous Speaker's Madness: Humour and Grice's Model

Marta Dynel
Published Online: 2008-08-06 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-008-0011-5

There Is Method in the Humorous Speaker's Madness: Humour and Grice's Model

The interdependence between humour and the Cooperative Principle (CP) (Grice 1975/1989b, 1978/1989b, 1989a) appears to be a bone of contention in pragmatic studies on verbal humour. The wellentrenched approach advocated by Raskin and Attardo is that jokes (and also other forms of intentionally produced humour) constitute the non-bona-fide mode of communication standing vis-à-vis the Gricean model and governed by a humour-CP (Raskin 1985, 1987, 1998; Raskin and Attardo 1994; Attardo 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2006), and that they violate, not merely flout, the maxims and even the CP (Attardo 1990, 1993, 1994, 1996, 2006). The aim of the article is to shed new light on the interdependence between humour and the CP with a view to substantiating that the authors who regard humour as an independent communicative mode and as an intrinsic violation of maxims and the CP appear to labour under a serious misapprehension. It will be argued that the Gricean model of cooperative rationality does allow for humorous verbalisations, which normally rely on maxim flouts.

Keywords: Cooperative Principle; humour; maxim flouts; rationality

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About the article


Published Online: 2008-08-06

Published in Print: 2008-01-01


Citation Information: Lodz Papers in Pragmatics, Volume 4, Issue 1, Pages 159–185, ISSN (Online) 1898-4436, ISSN (Print) 1895-6106, DOI: https://doi.org/10.2478/v10016-008-0011-5.

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