The Dynamics of Linguistic Humor Comprehension

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2017-05-30

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Newcity, Michael

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Abstract

As a performance whose functioning relies heavily on sociocultural rules, humor does not easily transcend cultural and language lines. In most cases, humor comprehension requires more than fluency in a language. Linguistic humor in particular can create challenges for second language (L2) speakers because it demands fluency, as well as a higher competence of linguistic rules governing how the language is applied. This study aimed to examine the role that such competence may play in humor comprehension by determining if fluent L2 English speakers from first language (L1) Mandarin and French speech communities could understand Standard American English (SAE) linguistic humor. The findings suggest that comprehension of linguistic humor may be dependent on sufficient exposure to a speech community, but further research with larger population sizes is necessary.

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Dudley, Taela (2017). The Dynamics of Linguistic Humor Comprehension. Honors thesis, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/14601.


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