A pragmatic analysis of humour in Kookurokoo Morning Show
Keywords:Humour, indirection, media, radio show, ridicule, honorifics, incongruity.
Humour is central to language use and form, as well as human communication generally; and yet there is a dearth of linguistic research in Ghana on this important facet of human communication. This paper, therefore, contributes to filling the gap by providing a pragmatic analysis of humour in an Akan radio programme - the Kookurokoo Morning Show on Peace FM (a popular Akan radio station in Ghana). Attention is paid to the types of humour employed, their functions, and the (para)linguistic strategies used. Data was sourced from newspaper review and the general discussion sections of the programme and analysed with reference to the incongruity theory. Findings indicate that the show is mainly characterized by teasing (jocular mockery in particular), with a few retorts. It was also observed that humour signals solidarity, playful mitigation of threatening propositional meaning and an indication of ‘moral transgression’. Due to the sensitive nature of some of the issues discussed, humour is used as a form of indirection strategy, which manifests itself through devices such as innuendoes, idiomatic and apologetic expressions, proverbs, and wordplay. The paper concludes that invoking a humorous/play frame in this context reduces tension and creates a cordial atmosphere for solidarity building, while at the same time conveying serious meaning.
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