Metarepresentation in linguistic jokes. Peiling Cui University of Bremen 29.09.2006. Jokes: combination of two different semantic respresentations (1). SSTH: Semantic Script Theory of Humor
University of Bremen
A text can be characterized as a single-joke-carrying text if both of the following conditions are satisfied.
1. The text is compatible, fully or in part, with two different scripts. (Script overlapping)
2. The two scripts with which the text is compatible are opposite. (Script opposition)
The two scripts with which some text is compatible are said to overlap fully or in part on this text.
(Raskin 1985: 99)
One of them is our expectation of the story in the joke before the punch line, and the other one is the real occurrence in the text (see Schultz 1976: 12).
Representation 1 vs. Representation 2
patient vs. lover
*Bindan sounds similar to the Chinese word bendan which means fools.
- A description of the combinational rules of the two scripts/representations in linguistic jokes.
- The metarespresentation in linguistic jokes.
A foreigner saw a young and pretty Chinese woman wearing a T-shirt with “9 9” on the breast. He found it very nice and wanted to give her a compliment, but he didn’t remember how to say “9” in Chinese, so the foreigner just pointed to the numbers and said: “Both of your nine nine are very beautiful…” (http://joke.tom.com. Author’s translation from the Chinese)
1) nine: a number in English
2) 奶(nai): breast in Chinese
A foreign student who has just begun with Chinese learning once wrote an article with the title „A letter to my mother“, and his first sentence was „Dear女马女马(nü ma nü ma)…“ (joke.tom.com, author‘s translation from the Chinese)
妈 妈 / 女马女马
ma ma / nü ma nü ma
mama / female horse female horse
Bayerischer Müll Wagen (Bavarian dust car). (www.witze.ag)
Metarepresentation the two representations
Homophone Script 1, representation 1
Homograph linguistic joke
Syntactic ambiguity Script 2, representation 2