The Laughter-eliciting Mechanism of Humor

Zhihui Wu

Abstract


The appreciation of humor is a dynamic interaction between the humor recipient and the humor object. It is a multi-geared problem-solving process in which the punch-line, which is incongruous with the body of the text, must be detected and then reconciled with the lead, in the end of which a pleasurable emotional state is obtained with the resolution of the incongruities and with the release of tension built up during the preceding intellectual effort. The laughter eliciting mechanism of humor can be summarized as: (1) The humor object contains incongruities; (2) Through script-switch or logical mechanism the incongruities are resolved. (3) Pleasure arises along with the resolution of the incongruities and with the release of tension built up during the preceding intellectual effort. Incongruities are regarded as the prerequisites of the humor, and the recipient’s cooperative interpretation of the humor object - resolution of the incongruities - ensures the success of a humorous event.


Full Text: PDF DOI: 10.5430/elr.v2n1p52

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English Linguistics Research
ISSN 1927-6028 (Print)   ISSN 1927-6036 (Online)

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