2013 | 22/2 | 87-99
Article title

Yus's and Jodłowiec's Relevance-Theoretic Approaches to Jokes: A Critical Comparison

Title variants
Languages of publication
The prime objective of this paper is to compare Yus’s (2003, 2004, 2008, 2011, 2012ab) and Jodłowiec’s (1991ab, 2008) accounts of jokes based on the assumptions of Relevance Theory (RT; Sperber and Wilson 1995, 2002, 2004). To meet this objective, I explore Yus’s and Jodłowiec’s classifications and models of joke comprehension since there is a strong link between the two phenomena.
  • University of Warsaw
  • Allott, Nicholas. 2010. Key terms in pragmatics. London, New York: Continuum.
  • Attardo, Salvatore. 1994. Linguistic theories of humor. Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Attardo, Salvatore, and Jean-Charles Chabanne. 1992. “Jokes as a text type”. Humor 5: 165–176.
  • Binsted, Kim, and Graeme Ritchie. 2001. “Towards a model of story puns”. Humor 14: 275–292.
  • Carston, Robyn. 2004. “Relevance Theory and the saying/implicating distinction”. In: Laurence R. Horn, and Gregory Ward (eds.), The handbook of pragmatics (Oxford: Blackwell), 633–656.
  • Curcó, Carmen. 1995. “Some observations on the pragmatics of humorous interpretations. A relevance theoretic approach”. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 7: 27–47.
  • Curcó, Carmen. 1996a. “The implicit expression of attitudes, mutual manifestness, and verbal humour”. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 8: 89–99.
  • Curcó, Carmen. 1996b. “Relevance Theory and humorous interpretations”. In: Joris Hulstijn, and Anton Nijholt (eds.). Automatic interpretation and generation of verbal humor. IWCH ’96. Twente Workshop on Language and Technology 12. (Enschede: University of Twente), 87–101.
  • Curcó, Carmen. 1997. The pragmatics of humorous interpretations. A relevance theoretic approach. Unpublished PhD Dissertation, UCL Department of Phonetics and Linguistics, London.
  • Dynel, Marta. 2009a. “Beyond a joke: types of conversational humour”. Language and Linguistics Compass. Semantics and Pragmatics 3: 1284–1299.
  • Dynel, Marta. 2009b. Humorous garden-paths: a pragmatic-cognitive study. Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing.
  • Dynel, Marta. 2010. “How do puns bear relevance”. In: Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk, Agnieszka Piskorska, and Ewa Wałaszewska (eds.). Relevance studies in Poland. Vol. 3. Exploring translation and communication problems. (Warszawa: Wydawnictwa Uniwersytetu Warszawskiego), 105–124.
  • Dynel, Marta. 2012. “What RT cannot do, IR can - On the incremental interpretation of jokes in (non)relevance-theoretic terms”. In: Ewa Wałaszewska – Agnieszka Piskorska (eds.), Relevance: more than understanding. (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), 147–166.
  • Forabosco, Giovannantonio. 1992. “Cognitive aspects of the humor process: the concept of incongruity”. Humor 5: 45–68.
  • Groefsema, Marjolein. 1998. “Processing for Relevance”. Revista alicantina de estudios ingleses 11: 95–116.
  • Higashimori, Isao. 2008. “New perspectives on understanding jokes: a relevance-theoretic account”. 471: 52–69.
  • Hockett, Charles F. 1972. “Jokes”. In: Estellie Smith (ed.). Studies in linguistics in honor of George L. Trager (New York: Mouton), 153–178. Reprinted in Charles F. Hockett. 1977. The view from language: Selected essays 1948–1974 (Athens: University of Georgia Press), 257–289.
  • Jodłowiec, Maria. 1991a. “What makes jokes tick”. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 3: 241–253.
  • Jodłowiec, Maria. 1991b The role of Relevance in the interpretation of verbal jokes: a pragmatic analysis. Unpublished PhD dissertation. Krako´w: Jagiellonian University.
  • Jodłowiec, Maria. 2008. “What‘s in the punchline?”. In: Ewa Wałaszewska, Marta Kisielewska-Krysiuk, Aniela Korzeniowska, and Małgorzata Grzegorzewska (eds.), Relevant worlds: current perspectives on language, translation and Relevance Theory (Newcastle: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), 67–86.
  • Larkin Galiñanes, Cristina. 2000. “Relevance Theory, humour, and the narrative structure of humorous novels”. Revista alicantina de estudios ingleses 13: 95–106.
  • Martínez-Sierra, Juan José. 2009. “The relevance of humour in audio description”. Intralinea 11 [online translation journal]. (no pages)
  • Norrick, Neal. 2001. “On the conversational performance of narrative jokes: toward an account of timing”. Humor 14: 255–274.
  • Ritchie, Graeme. 2004. The linguistic analysis of jokes. London, New York: Routledge.
  • Sherzer, Joel. 1985. “Puns and jokes”. In: Teun van Dijk (ed.), Handbook of discourse analysis, Vol. 3 (London: Academic), 213–221.
  • Sperber, Dan, and Deirdre Wilson. 1995 Relevance: communication and cognition. Oxford: Blackwell.
  • Suls, Jerry. 1972. “A two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons: An information-processing analysis”. In: Jeffrey Goldstein – Paul McGhee (eds.). The psychology of humor (New York: Academic Press), 81–100.
  • Wilson, Deirdre. 2002. “Relevance theory: a tutorial”. In: Yukio Otsu (ed.), Proceedings of the Third Tokyo Conference on Psycholinguistics (Tokyo: Hituzi Shobo), 45–70.
  • Wilson, Deirdre, and Dan Sperber. 2004. “Relevance theory”. UCL Working Papers in Linguistics 14: 249–287.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2003. “Humor and the search for relevance”. Journal of Pragmatics 35: 1295–1331.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2004. “Pragmatics of humorous strategies in El club de la comedia”. In: Rosina Márquez Reiter – María Elena Placencia (eds.). Current trends in the pragmatics of Spanish (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), 320–344.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2008. “A relevance-theoretic classification of jokes”. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 4: 131–157.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2011. “A pragmatic analysis of jokes”. Paper delivered at the Seminar Meaning in Interaction. Seville: University of Seville.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2012a. “Relevance, humour and translation”. In: Ewa Wałaszewska, and Agnieszka Piskorska (eds.). Relevance Theory: more than understanding. (New Castle upon Tyne: Cambridge Scholars Publishing), 117–146.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2012b. “Strategies and effects in humorous discourse. The case of jokes”. In: Barbara Eizaga Rebollar (ed.), Studies in Linguistics and Cognition (Bern: Peter Lang), 271–293.
  • Yus, Francisco. 2013. “An inference-centered analysis of jokes: the Intersecting Circles Model of humorous communication”. In: Leonor Ruiz Gurillo – Belén Alvarado Ortega (eds.). Irony and humor: highlights and perspectives. (Amsterdam: John Benjamins). [in press]
Document Type
Publication order reference
YADDA identifier
JavaScript is turned off in your web browser. Turn it on to take full advantage of this site, then refresh the page.