The Cooperative Principle of Pragmatics: An Analysis of the Verbal Humor in Friends

Topics: Paul Grice, Pragmatics, Implicature Pages: 13 (2777 words) Published: October 17, 2014


The Cooperative Principle of Pragmatics:
An Analysis of the Verbal Humor in Friends

Outline

Thesis: The cooperative principle is one of the most important pragmatic principles. The violation of the cooperative principle can often generate conversational implicature and achieve certain communicative effect. By violating the cooperative principle, Friends produces humorous effects and has become one of the best television sitcoms throughout the world. Ⅰ. Four maxims of cooperative principle

A. Quantity maxim
B. Quality maxim
C. Relation maxim
D. Manner maxim
Ⅱ. Violation of CP Maxims and Humor Production
A. Violation of the quantity maxim
1. Example and analysis
2. Example and analysis
3. Example and analysis
B. Violation of the quality maxim
1. Example and analysis
2. Example and analysis
3. Example and analysis
4. Example and analysis
5. Example and analysis
C. Violation of the relation maxim
1. Example and analysis
2. Example and analysis
D. Violation of the manner maxim
1. Explanation of the definition
2. Example and analysis
3. Example and analysis
4. Example and analysis

Ⅲ. Conclusion

The Cooperative Principle of Pragmatics:
An Analysis of the Verbal Humor in Friends

Abstract: Cooperative principle, as one of the most important pragmatic principles, includes four maxims which are quantity maxims, quality maxim, relation maxim and manner maxim. The violation of the cooperative principle can often generate conversational implicature thus achieve certain communicative effect. By analyzing the usage of violating four maxims of cooperative principle in Friends, the author will show how the most successful sitcom produces verbal humor. Key words: cooperative principles, violation of four maxims, verbal humor

Language is an integral part of our life and humanity and the researches about it have never interrupted since its born. Humor is the spice of human lives, which is also achieved mostly by using language. Pragmatics is a main branch of linguistics, with the development of which, many linguists analyze from various perspectives on verbal humor and have achieved fruitful results.While the cooperative principle, as one of the most important pragmatic principles, makes a systemic study about language use and lays a solid foundation for later development of pragmatics. The violation of the cooperative principle can often generate conversational implicature or achieve certain communicative effect. On the basis of previous humor and pragmatic theory researches, the author will analysis from the point of the cooperative principle of those verbal humor dialogues in the sitcom Friends, which reflects the daily life of six friends in New York during ten years.

Ⅰ. Four Maxims of the Cooperative Principle
The Cooperative Principle, or CP for short, is proposed by Oxford philosopher Herbert Paul Grice, who holds the opinion that “our talk exchanges do not normally consist of a succession of disconnected remarks, and would be rational if they did. They are characteristically, to some degree at least, cooperative efforts; and each participant recognizes in them, to some extent, a common purpose or set of purposes, or at least a mutually accepted direction” (Grice 45) . According to Grice, the CP includes the four maxims as follows: A. QUANTITY

1. Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange) . 2. Do not make your contribution more informative than is required. B. QUALITY

Try to make your contribution one that is true.
1. Do not say what you believe to be false.
2. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.
C. RELATION
Be relevant.
D. MANNER
Be perspicuous.
1. Avoid obscurity of expression.
2. Avoid ambiguity.
3. Be brief (avoid prolixity) .
4. Be...


Cited: Grice. H. P. Logic and Conversation. In Cole, P. & Morgan, J. L. (eds) Syntax and Semantics 3: Speech Acts. New York: Academic Press. 1975.
The Cooperative Principle of Pragmatics: An Analysis of the Verbal Humor in the Sitcom Home with Kids. (2014. 6.20).
陈小丽. “A Pragmatic Study of Verbal Humor in Friends”.
(2014.6.20)
廖晓丹. 从语用视角探析《老友记》的幽默话语[J]. 福建论坛(人文社会科学版). 95-97
胡壮麟. 语言学教程[M]. 北京:北京大学出版社,2011
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