Journal article

How to do things with jokes: Speech acts in standup comedy

Debra Aarons, Marc Mierowsky

The European Journal of Humour Research | Estonian Literary Museum of Scholarly Press | Published : 2017

Abstract

How to do things with jokes: Speech acts in standup comedyIn How to Do Things with Words (1962), the philosopher John Austin claimed that we use words to do things in the world, not merely to express a state of affairs. This proposal introduced speech acts, and essentially initiated the study of linguistic pragmatics. Speech acts in everyday communication include persuading, apologizing, criticizing, humiliating, complimenting and a host of other intended behaviours. Austin accentuated the idea of speaker intention, on one hand, and hearer’s response to that intention if successfully conveyed, on the other. We consider some of the speech acts used in the work of selected standup comedians to..

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University of Melbourne Researchers

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