Extradiegetic and character laughter as markers of humorous intentions in the sitcom "2 Broke Girls"

Messerli, Thomas C.. (2016) Extradiegetic and character laughter as markers of humorous intentions in the sitcom "2 Broke Girls". Journal of pragmatics, 95. pp. 79-92.

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This study analyses data from one episode of the US sitcom 2 Broke Girls to demonstrate how telecinematic discourse contrasts and explicitly signals intentions on different levels of communication for humorous effect. The presented examples show how the collective senders cue television viewers to follow extradiegetic laughter (the laugh track) and character laughter as markers of humour and humour support to infer humorous and non-humorous intentions and incongruities on different communicative levels, communicative level 1 (CL1) between collective sender and viewers, and CL2 between characters. The data illustrate the heterogeneity of sitcom humour, which is categorised into humour constellations based on the communicative level on which the incongruity is inferred. Subtypes of CL2-humour involve markers that show characters to be intentionally humorous, to fail in their attempts at humour, or to pretend to appreciate humour by employing fake laughter; CL1-humour refers to humour which is marked solely extradiegetically and functions without any marked intent within the fictional world. Each of the constellations positions the viewers differently and invites them to laugh with or about sitcom characters, and this categorisation thus also highlights the viewers' dynamic shifts between different participant roles.
Faculties and Departments:04 Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences > Departement Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaften > Fachbereich Englische Sprach- und Literaturwissenschaft > English Linguistics (Locher)
UniBasel Contributors:Messerli, Thomas C.
Item Type:Article, refereed
Article Subtype:Research Article
Note:Publication type according to Uni Basel Research Database: Journal article
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Last Modified:23 Feb 2021 10:27
Deposited On:04 Oct 2018 13:13

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