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Title: Beyond a Joke: Types of Conversational Humour
Author(s): Marta Dynel
Journal Title: Language and Linguistics Compass
Volume: 3
Issue: 5
Page Range: 1284 - 1299
Publication Date: Jul-2009
Abstract: The main objective of this article is to list and briefly characterise several semantic and pragmatic types of verbal humour, primarily those which cannot be reduced to (canned) jokes. First of all, a distinction is drawn between jokes and conversational humour, an umbrella term covering a variety of semantic and pragmatic types of humour, which recur in interpersonal communication, whether real-life (everyday conversations or TV programmes) or fictional (film and book dialogues). On a different axis representing formal structure, stylistic figures are distinguished, such as irony, puns and allusions.

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Beyond a Joke: Types of Conversational Humour   by Esmat Babaii , 6-Jul-11
Comment on “Beyond a Joke: Types of Conversational Humour” by Marta Dynel I read the article “Beyond a Joke: Types of Conversational Humour” with much interest. In this well-written paper, Marta Dynel provides the readers with a detailed classification of verbal humor, carefully defining and exemplifying each category. I have to confess that I was a bit disappointed to find that the article does not offer anything beyond a linguistic, text-based categorization of humor. In fact, the title “Beyond a joke” made me think that I would find some comments about ‘the cognitive load’ and ‘native and/or native audience’s degree of appreciation’. In other words, I hoped to find some research findings or even some speculations about the ‘human’ side of the jokes like psycho-social factors affecting the degree to which a joke can be considered humorous. However, my personal preference should not obscure the fact that the author does provide a neat and readable account of verbal humor. Students interested in pragmatics will find a comprehensive literature review and fool-proof criteria to distinguish different types of verbal humor.
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