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A Pragmatic Analysis of Humor Mechanisms in Yes, Prime Minister


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Peran, Ana. (2018). A Pragmatic Analysis of Humor Mechanisms in Yes, Prime Minister. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Grubišić, Marina].

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The TV series Yes, Prime Minister is a well known British sitcom that has been present on British television as well as TV stations abroad for decades, and is familiar to the Croatian audience as well. Although the show deals with politics, it is still very relatable to audiences worldwide. Its particular and recognizable humor and memorable characters make it easier for the audience to connect with the show. The main purpose of this paper is to analyze the humor mechanisms in the show - and there is indeed a great number of ways in which it amuses the audience, whether through puns, riddles, sarcasm, doublespeak or any other way of playing with language. The analysis of the dialogues will serve to showcase how the three main characters play with the language in a clever and often confusing manner. Grice’s Cooperative Principle with the accompanying maxims, as well as conversational implicatures will be introduced in order to conduct a pragmatic analysis that will show how, although demonstrating frequent violations of these maxims, these violations do not take away from the humorous effect of the lines in the show. The humorous effect is achieved mainly by using various humor mechanisms which only serve to emphasize the quality of the dialogues and the fundamental principle of cooperation among participants in spoken exchange (Cooperative Principle).

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: humor, humor mechanisms, Cooperative Principle, conversational maxims, conversational implicatures, Yes, Prime Minister
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Grubišić, Marina
Date Deposited: 06 Dec 2018 12:41
Last Modified: 06 Dec 2018 12:41

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