Edited by Leonor Ruiz-Gurillo
[IVITRA Research in Linguistics and Literature 14] 2016
► pp. 57–77
Beyond verbal incongruity
A genre-specific model for the interpretation of humor in political cartoons
The General Theory of Verbal Humor (Attardo and Raskin 1991) opened the path to study the mechanisms of humor. Research on the comprehension and production of cartoons has traditionally adopted cognitive-semantic theories to explain how readers interpret their humorous messages. While perfectly applicable, these theories focus on the linguistic components of cartoons, analyzing exclusively the text in their speech balloons or captions with little to no attention paid to what the visual components add to their meaning. This paper analyzes the nature of cartoons as narrative monomodal or multimodal ensembles and revisits previous approaches with the goal of proposing a new genre-specific model for the understanding of their humorous messages.