Edited by Villy Tsakona and Jan Chovanec
[Topics in Humor Research 7] 2018
► pp. 1–26
Chapter 1. Investigating the dynamics of humor
Towards a theory of interactional humor
While semanticopragmatic approaches to humor usually view it as stemming from incongruity, many current studies from fields such as discourse analysis, conversation analysis, and pragmatics have moved beyond to underline the significance of other factors defining humor. These factors include the framing devices of humor, the reactions to it, the sociocultural parameters influencing its production and interpretation, its social functions and affective goals, and the genres where it may occur. In view of the above, a broader definition of interactional humor is proposed, emphasizing its dynamic co-construction and including all humorous texts whose meanings are negotiated among interactants. It is argued that such a definition has a number of relevant implications for the theory of humor, where it suitably complements the recent (pragmatic) shift towards a more contextualized understanding of humor production and reception.