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Pragmatics of humor in Modern Family : a multimodal approach


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Lendić, Anabela. (2014). Pragmatics of humor in Modern Family : a multimodal approach. Diploma Thesis. Filozofski fakultet u Zagrebu, Department of English Language and Literature. [mentor Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan].

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The thesis provides a review of the field of humor research from the point of view of linguistics, and offers a pragmatic analysis and a discourse analysis of humorous examples from Modern Family. The applied (sub)fields, pragmatics and Critical Discourse Analysis, provide the methodology, and the field applied to, humor research, provides all of the questions. Although the amount of linguistically relevant research on humor is fairly minor, it is not irrelevant. Therefore, the intention is not to make a case against the theory of any particular scholar, but rather to make a case against certain types of theories. Attardo’s pragmatic approach to humor explores the cooperative aspects of humor as a NBF mode of communication, as well as the need for a revision and extension of the idealized BF mode of communication. The most important consequence of this fact is that speakers are not committed to the truth of what they say in the NBF mode. At this point, considering a text humorous is simply being aware of its perlocutionary goal and/or effect. However, Attardo’s pragmatic approach to humor, although very useful when it comes to the individual humorous texts, cannot on itself account for the “funniness” of the mockumentary style of Modern Family. In this sense, CDA has proven itself to be the ideal discipline for investigating the contextual aspects of humor in connection to the mockumentary. It is emphasized that only a broad-based contextual theory is useful for the (pragmatic) study of humor, and it is demonstrated that a new theory which could accommodate the context much better than any of its predecessors is needed.

Item Type: Diploma Thesis
Uncontrolled Keywords: pragmatics, humor research, Modern Family, NBF communication mode, CDA
Subjects: English language and literature
Departments: Department of English Language and Literature
Supervisor: Stanojević, Mateusz-Milan
Date Deposited: 30 Jan 2015 18:02
Last Modified: 06 Mar 2015 15:36

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