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Linguistic Theories of Humor

  • By: Julia M. Taylor
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Linguistic theories of humor are theoretical models of humor that take into account only verbal or written text. The purpose of linguistic theories of humor is to analyze jokes based on information that is stated in the text, without taking into account outside factors, such as how well a joke is delivered or what kind of audience would find it humorous. As such, these theories deal with humor competence rather than with humor performance. This entry outlines a family of linguistic theories that attempt to describe generic humorous texts but are typically applied to short jokes.

Although humor is largely recognized as a multidisciplinary field, linguistic theories of humor are based predominantly on linguistic analysis and comparison. As such, the family of linguistic theories takes into ...

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