Publication details [#1882]

Antonopoulou, Eleni. 2004. Humor theory and translation research: Proper names in humorous discourse. Humor 17 (3) : 219–255. 37 pp.


This paper reports the results of comparing source and target text jabs (from Raymond Chandler's novels translated into Greek) involving allusive proper names (PNs), with a view to accounting for the contribution of this grammatical category to humorous effect. The PNs discussed are socioculturally bound. Therefore, the difference in production dates, sociocultural environment, and audience design has resulted in different strategies being adopted for their intercultural transference. This has provided the opportunity to check the traditional strategies against respondents' reactions to humorous effect and compare source text and alternative target text jabs using the GTVH metric. Considering also the Cognitive Grammar account of the functions of PNs has led to an interpretation of the unexpected finding that jabs with allusive PNs may well be humorously effective even if their referents are unknown to the audience. The following factors emerge as crucial in this respect: the brevity of the linguistic sign, the specificity and concreteness of the evoked scripts, and the immediacy with which mental contact is established. It is suggested that replacing socioculturally-bound PNs in translating jab lines may jeopardize their humorous effect. (LLBA, Adapted from the source document, Accession Number 200502373, (c) CSA [2004]. All rights reserved)