Publication details [#57190]

Publication type
Article in book
Publication language
Language as a subject
Place, Publisher
John Benjamins


This paper offers a study proposal for the analysis of humorous utterances with failed humor due to lack of participation by the interlocutor in ongoing talk continuing humor. In fact, the listener or the speaker do understand humor, as some marks – such as laughter, amongst others – showed during the analysis, but they simply decide not to participate in it. This fact creates an uncomfortable atmosphere in the discourse because failed humor is often a way to show impoliteness. Either the speaker’s or the listener’s positive face has been damaged, and that is why they need to defend their face as the examples below are going to illustrate. The goal is to demonstrate that failed humor in conversational utterances is a way to show conversational strategies for the purpose of imposing respect towards the listener and the speaker, or saving their negative and positive face, in accordance with politeness criteria.