Humour: Stylistic Approaches

Paul Simpson

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingEntry for encyclopedia/dictionary

2 Citations (Scopus)


An important focus in contemporary stylistics has been on the connections between style and verbal humor, and this article charts the ways in which stylisticians have used a variety of linguistic models to analyze humorous discourse. The idea of stylistic incongruity is identified as being especially important in triggering the humor reflex. The principle of incongruity applies to any level of language or discourse, as is illustrated here by examples of puns and related forms of humor as well as by incongruities that are more to do with mismatches between text and discourse context. The principle of incongruity is also aligned with the concept of irony, through which a number of points are made about the stylistic analysis of both parody and satire.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Encyclopedia of Language and Linguistics
EditorsK. Brown
Number of pages4
ISBN (Print)978-0-08-044854-1
Publication statusPublished - 2006

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