A Pragmatic Approach To Comedy: A Case Study Of The Character Of Kansiime’s Use Of Irony In Creating Humour
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This was a pragmatic approach to the study of comedy. It looked at how one Ugandan comedian, Anne Kansiime uses irony to create humour. The interpretation of Kansiime’s jokes was done as an expansion of the applicability of Relevance Theory in the interpretation of texts. In assessing Kansiime’s sketches an insight was drawn into how hearers are able to interpret texts so as to perceive them as humorous. Having adopted the relevance theoretical framework which tries to give account of how hearers interpret texts during verbal-communication it necessitated that we define the place of the hearer, and at the same time that of the speaker, since the comedian endeavors to judge their minds. For a successful interpretation of a text during a given discourse the hearer must be able to judge the intentions of the speaker, while the speaker must also be able to give sound context for the interpretation process. For this reason this study alludes to these concepts by looking at how, the speaker who in this case is the humorist, is able to judge the minds of her audience, and subsequently judge what the audience will attend to as relevant during a given discourse. So it is the duty of the humorist to manipulate the mind of the hearer for the hearer to be able to judge that a given text is humorous. Therefore a successful interpretation of humour to some extent depends on the humourist rather than the hearer.
University of Nairobi