Every nation makes fun of different topics and has another humorous style. Every culture shapes the people living in it. This is why we do not always understand humor in foreign countries and, moreover, translated jokes are often not that funny anymore. This can be problematic regarding sitcoms or comedies in general where the desired effect of laughter can get lost through translation. So, humor is mainly a language-based and culture-based phenomenon.
Society has an influence upon the language but at the same time language influences the society.
If we are in the right mood and if the joke-teller performs well, we appreciate the joke; it is the interplay of circumstances. Humor and laughter are widely seen as roughly co-extensive, but to distinguish humor from laughter is very difficult. For a long time, laughter was regarded as humiliating because it was always directed at an object and thus laughter included making fun of somebody.
Over the years a certain sensibility has emerged. Humor has become both: a sensitive laughing with others and a laughing at oneself.
What's funny? A definition of humor and humor theories
Laughing is an innate capacity of humans and already starts when they are born. For children, laughter is an expression of pleasurable emotions. So, it can be seen as a reflex because we only laugh if something happens to our soul or body. If something is regarded to be funny, the usual emotional reaction is laughter. However, laughter is not a necessary reaction to humor, even though it may seem so.
If we do not get a joke, for instance, puzzlement or confusion may be the response. Moreover, personal taste, mood, or time is essential for humor. Laughter is a physiological process as well as a psychological phenomenon as Raskin 19 claims. We unconsciously make gestures and sounds at the same time. Diverse facial muscles contract, we breathe irregularly, we grasp for breath, and sometimes, tears roll down our face.
In this procedure, endorphins are set free which makes us happy. Due to Giles and Oxford, laughter arises in seven different situations: humorous, social, ignorance, anxiety, derision, apologetic, and tickling McGhee Not all of the situations which cause laughter, like for example tickling, indicate a humorous state. The reactive side of humor is little investigated. Originally, laughter served to show your opponent your teeth.
According to McGhee, nervous laughter happens when people feel uncomfortable and try to release the tension through laughter Energy which is repressed is released through laughter McGhee This is the same as the relief theory claims: a sudden joke can surely ease up a tense situation. Humor is used to define relationships, to define themselves as part of a social group, and to establish the kind of speech they are in Fasold 1.
Subcategories of the phenomenon of not-being earnest are jokes, humor, or funniness, for instance.
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The variety of verbal humor in everyday life including different reactions was not in the focus, of the theories of humor. Rather, standardized jokes were only analyzed where laughter was the desired effect. Many different types of humor, like jokes, slapstick, mean mockery, or sitcoms exist. To show the entire variety of humor would go beyond the scope of this paper, so only selected types of humor are in the focus.
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It can be differentiated between joke telling and conversational joking. The emphasis of this paper lies on sitcoms including situational humor which is highly context depended. Jokes do not always depend on the context and can be seen as the antipode of sitcoms. Jokes are a short story with a surprising end.
This unexpected end is called punch line which is the climax or the turning point of a joke. Schopenhauer explains that we hear something what we did not expect. It does not come out of nowhere; it is just not what we thought it to be Morreall However, explanation must be given. We have to understand the joke and maybe its ambiguity in order to say that it is a joke. The jab line in contrast, occurs in the body of a text and is fully integrated in the narrative in which it appears. Jab lines can be found in longer texts or sitcoms, for example. Sometimes it is hard to say whether or not a comment, a situation, or even a twinkle is comical.
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Jokes, however, follow a clear line. This can be a riddle, a question-answer pattern or a little story. So, it is easier for the listener to know that something is supposed to be funny than it is in spontaneous humor Shultz Humor is based on incongruity, which is that humor implies action or comments which are not expected.
Many jokes are funny because of the meaning of what is said:. This misunderstanding makes up the incongruity of the joke. We do not expect person B to respond in this way. Next, it is important to put the hearer in the correct position in order to deliver a joke properly.
It should not be too trivial, and it should not be too hard to understand. The punch line should not be given away too early. Verbal jokes can play with phonological ambiguities. This means, a sound has more than one interpretation:.
Shultz Besides, the intonation of words or phrases can make up a joke. Jokes are mainly context-independent.
Accordingly, they can be told in every situation and do not require any previous knowledge. Sitcoms, on the other hand, depend a lot on the context as well as previous knowledge. The main idea of a joke is that two opposing scripts appear. The trigger, which is the punchline, causes the switch from the expected script to the non-expected one. Former research has mainly been done on real conversations. Thus, conversational jokes are invented spontaneously during the conversation and are very context-based. They say that joke telling is a conventionalized, socially bound speech behavior, whereas in conversational joking, a play frame is created by the participants with a backdrop of in-group knowledge, encompassing not only verbal features, but also suprasegmentals and non-verbal communication.
Language can influence relationships a lot. Making compliments or encouraging someone obviously bonds more than insulting or offending someone. Pragmatics, for instance, allow a new view onto language. Fasold puts it that way:. A Cognitive-Developmental Analysis of Humour. What's funny? A definition of humor and humor theories Akademische Arbeit, 38 Seiten, Note: 2,1. Irina Wamsler Autor. In den Warenkorb. Inhaltsverzeichnis Introduction 1.
Historical development - an outline 3. Conditions for humor — the context 4. Laughter 5. Jokes 6. Gender 7. Goldstein 40 Apart from the phonetic side of humor which deals with the sound of words, semantics looks at meanings as in: A: How do you like your coffee, black? Historical development - an outline Over the last decades, humor has been discussed a lot. Conditions for humor — the context Jokes or comments can be funny in one situation, but not in another one. Laughter Humor and laughter are widely seen as roughly co-extensive, but to distinguish humor from laughter is very difficult.
Jokes Many different types of humor, like jokes, slapstick, mean mockery, or sitcoms exist. Many jokes are funny because of the meaning of what is said: A: How do you like your coffee, black?
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Goldstein 41 This misunderstanding makes up the incongruity of the joke. Shultz 13 Besides, the intonation of words or phrases can make up a joke. Conversational joking Former research has mainly been done on real conversations. Fasold puts it that way: [ Melden Sie sich an, um einen Kommentar zu schreiben.
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