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It’s A Funny Old World: The Construction of Possible Worlds in Jokes and Stand-up Comedy

Eyre, Shona Ruth (2015) It’s A Funny Old World: The Construction of Possible Worlds in Jokes and Stand-up Comedy. Master of Arts by Research (MARes) thesis, University of Kent,. (KAR id:47908)

Language: English
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Though there exists a wide range of research surrounding theories of humour and the structure of jokes, very little academic attention is given to stand-up comedy, despite its popularity within modern culture and appreciation as a type of performance. Stand-up comedy’s audience cognitively process highly creative discourse at great speed and reach the intended instances of humour created by the performer. This thesis seeks to address the inabilities of current linguistic theories of humour when applied to stand-up comedy, by proposing a new model of humour (the Possible Worlds Model of Humour). The most prolific of the linguistic theories of humour, the General Theory of Verbal Humor (GTVH), has been scrutinised for under-definition within the parameters of the model, and providing an analysis with a lack of focus into the cognitive processes that bring an audience to laugh. In creating a new linguistic model for the analysis of humour, cognitive stylistics (cognitive poetics) has been chosen to achieve cognitive insight into stand-up comedy as a text through logic based possible-world approaches to fiction. Appropriate incongruity, textual universes and their textual actual worlds, scripts, accessibility relations, and the alternative worlds in a comedian’s jokes can be used in defining an individual style attributed to a particular stand-up comedian. Analyses are carried out on two extracts from British stand-up comedians (Milton Jones and Stewart Lee) to show the abilities of the proposed model when considering this type of text.

Item Type: Thesis (Master of Arts by Research (MARes))
Thesis advisor: Scott, Jeremy
Uncontrolled keywords: comedy, stand-up comedy, stand up comedy, humor, humour, possible worlds, text worlds, jokes, cognitive poetics, cognitive stylistics, linguistic theories of humour, humour and cognition, linguistic theories of humor, humor and cognition, humour theory, humor theory
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
P Language and Literature > PN Literature (General) > PN1969.C65 Comedy acts. Stand-up comedy
Divisions: Divisions > Division of Arts and Humanities > School of Culture and Languages
Depositing User: Users 1 not found.
Date Deposited: 09 Apr 2015 11:00 UTC
Last Modified: 12 Dec 2022 13:05 UTC
Resource URI: (The current URI for this page, for reference purposes)

University of Kent Author Information

Eyre, Shona Ruth.

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