Retour vers liste

Détail de la contribution

Auteur: Manuel PADILLA CRUZ

Epistemic vigilance and jokes

Abstract/Résumé: Jokers intentionally mislead hearers to an interpretation that appears optimally relevant, to which hearers initially assign some credibility. However, subsequent fragments give rise to an alternative interpretation which surprises hearers because of its incongruity (Yus 2003, 2008). They must then backtrack and reinterpret the text in order to solve the incongruity (Attardo 1990, 1993). Humour is triggered by its resolution and the realisation of having been fooled into a wrong interpretation (Suls 1972; Forabosco 1992). This presentation describes jokes as attempts to overcome hearers’ epistemic vigilance (Mascaro & Sperber 2009; Sperber et al. 2010). Epistemic vigilance would monitor the different interpretive steps and test the reliability and suitability of their outcomes. Following naïve optimism (Sperber 1994), the comprehension module would identify logical forms, assign reference, disambiguate linguistic material, adjust concepts, access implicated premises and draw implicated conclusions (Wilson & Sperber 2004). Epistemic vigilance must alert the comprehension module to having been misled in its tasks through the joke. Consequently, it would enact a shift to sophisticated understanding (Sperber 1994) so that the comprehension module searches for an interpretation the joker initially attempted to prevent the hearer from accessing. References Attardo, S. 1990. The violation of Grice’s maxims in jokes”. In K. Hall et al. (eds.), Proceedings of the 16th Berkeley Linguistics Society Conference. Berkeley: University of California Press, 355-362. Attardo, S. 1993. Violation of conversational maxims and cooperation: the case of jokes. Journal of Pragmatics 19: 537-558. Forabosco, G. 2008. Is the concept of incongruity still a useful construct for the advancement of humour research? Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 4(1): 45-62. Mascaro, O. & D. Sperber. 2009. The moral, epistemic, and mindreading components of children’s vigilance towards deception. Cognition 112(3): 367-380. Sperber, D. 1994. Understanding verbal understanding. In J. Khalfa (ed.), What Is Intelligence? Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 179-198. Sperber, D. et al. 2010. Epistemic vigilance. Mind and Language 25(4): 359-393. Suls, J. M. 1972. A two-stage model for the appreciation of jokes and cartoons”. In J. H. Goldstein and P. E. McGhee (eds.), The Psychology of Humor: Theoretical Perspectives and Empirical Issues. New York: Academic Press, 81-100. Wilson, D. & D. Sperber. 2004. Relevance Theory. In L. Horn and G. Ward (eds.), The Handbook of Pragmatics. Oxford: Blackwell. Yus Ramos, F. 2003. Humour and the search for relevance. Journal of Pragmatics 35: 1295-1331. Yus Ramos, F. 2008. A relevance-theoretic classification of jokes. Lodz Papers in Pragmatics 4(1): 131-157.