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Puns

  • By: Christian F. Hempelmann
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

A pun is a type of joke in which one sound sequence (e.g., a word) has two meanings, and this similarity in sound creates a relationship for the two meanings from which humor is derived. Puns are one of the most prominent types of humorous text and are thought to be both typical as well as comparatively simple—if not simple-minded. For these reasons puns are the manifestation of humor most extensively studied by researchers in disciplines such as linguistics who are interested in humor stimuli and their processing. This entry focuses on the general mechanism of puns and discusses the various classifications of puns as identified in the literature.

General Distinctions

Puns are not simpler in principle than other instances of humorous stimuli, they are merely very ...

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