Browsing Senior Theses & Projects by Author "Abdalian, Andrew"
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- ItemWhy's That Funny?? An extension to the Semantic Script Theory of Humor(2006) Abdalian, Andrew; Harrison, K. DavidPhilosophies of humor date back at least to antiquity, but linguistic study of humor has developed only recently, perhaps due to the "lighthearted" nature of the field. Since its emergence as a serious linguistic topic, linguists have worked to formalize a linguistic theory of humor. While many different methods for such a formalized theory have been proposed, Raskin (1985) has made the largest strides in this direction with his SEMANTIC SCRIPT THEORY OF HUMOR (SSTH). This theory provides the most complete linguistic theory of humor and a good framework from which to work to achieve a complete linguistic analysis of humor. One of the key elements of humor that Raskin does not address is the great variance in how funny jokes are. This paper examines the literature concerning humor studies, describes the basic premises underlying Raskin's SSTH, and then provides an extension to the theory, the EXTENDED INCONGRUITY MODEL (EIM), consisting of culture-neutral ways to predict how well a joke will be received. Specifically, the paper draws on ideas from the cognitive linguistics SURPRISE DISAMBIGUATION (SD) model of humor and explores new criteria for determining not only what constitutes a joke, but what constitutes a strong joke, as opposed to a weak joke. Using these criteria in tandem with the existing theory extends the scope of Raskin's theory and moves linguistics closer to a full accounting of the phenomenon of humor.