The Elicitation of Verbal Humor in Total Women: Conversational Implicature and Relevance

  •  Rongbin Wang    
  •  Yaoqin Xue    


This research examines how conversational implicature and relevance in communication contribute to the elicitation of verbal humor in Total Women, and it discusses whether the pragmatic theoretical analysis of verbal humor can eventually be induced to a hierarchical two-stage processing like Incongruity-resolution. It is shown that (1) The fun-making character Fannie’s statements which flouted different maxims of conversation all built up and led to the elicitation of verbal humor; (2) Relevance-eliciting verbal humor resembled to Incongruity-resolution with the oppositeness between the first interpretation and the retrieved one communicating the presumption of optimal relevance on the one hand and the humorous inference on the other hand.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.