1. Introduction 1
2.1 Humor 2
2.1.1 Definition of humor 2
2.1.2 Classification of humor 3
2.1.3 American sitcom: The Bigbang Theory 3
2.2 Relevance Theory 4
2.2.1 Origin of Relevance Theory 4
2.2.2 Definition of Relevance Theory 5
2.2.3 Communicative view of Relevance Theory 6
18.104.22.168 Ostensive-inferential communication 6
22.214.171.124 Cognitive context 7
2.3 Application of Relevance Theory to The Bigbang Theory 7
2.3.1 Verbal humor generated by different lexical information 7
2.3.2 Verbal humor generated by different grammar 8
2.3.3 Verbal humor generated by different rhetoric techniques 9
2.3.4 Verbal humor generated by different logical information 10
3. Conclusion 12
Works Cited 13
An Analysis of Humorous Conversation Implications in The Bigbang Theory on Relevance Theory
Humor is a part of human’s life; it can break down the barriers of gender, race and culture. Meanwhile, it plays an indispensible role in different languages and cultures. Our daily life would be dull and boring if there is no humor. Recently, some linguists have become interested in researching the verbal humor of some famous American sitcoms. The Bigbang Theory has an extensive popularity among the world and it has received many awards, such as the Emmys, the People's Choice Awards, the Television Critics Association, etc.
The Bigbang Theory is an American sitcom created by Chuck Lorre and Bill Prady. It premiered on CBS on September 24, 2007. The show is about two Caltech prodigies, Leonard Hofstadter is an experimental physicist and Sheldon Cooper is a theoretical physicist. After undergoing many tests, Howard becomes Sheldon’s roommate and they sign a roommate agreement. Penny, an attractive blonde waitress with show-business aspirations lives across the hall from Leonard and Sheldon. Leonard and Sheldon's 'geekiness' and sheer intellect are contrasted for comic effect with Penny's social skills and common sense. Two equally geeky friends of theirs, Howard and Rajesh, are also main characters.
In the western linguistics, using the linguistic study of humor phenomenon can be roughly divided into two stages. The first stage discussed about the violation of CP and whether these violations can produce humor effect or not. After Raskin(1985) who deeply researched the non-bona-fide of humor communication, they started to research the communication function and the non-bona-fide communication.
Compared with 1980s and before, domestic research of humor has made considerable development not only on the research team but also on the depth and breadth of the specific research. Domestic research on this subject in recent years has been focusing on the violation of the cooperative principle, and less from the perspective of relevance theory, for example, there are many linguists such as Zhang Shujing (1998), Yang Weihua (2002), Zuo Ziming (2003) and Zhao Yingke (2006), they cite many vivid examples to demonstrate that it seems like speaker break the Cooperative principle, but actually speaker followed it instead which would cause much fun.
The Bigbang theory is very popular among American audiences since broadcasting, especially among the youth. The humorous dialogue between roles attracted the audience. Many researchers have published concerning papers from different angles. For example, Xu Yanglihas published The Euphemism in The Bigbang theory (2010), Bao Yin has published An Analysis of Puns in The Bigbang Theory (2012). However, little work has been done in the study of humorous conversation implications in The Bigbang Theory on Relevance Theory; therefore, the purpose of this essay is to deepen the understanding of the humor and the culture of The Bigbang Theory based on the Relevance Theory.
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