Factores de influencia en la comprensión y apreciación del humor en las viñetas cómicas. El caso de Dosis Diarias

Author: Beatriz Carbajal Carrera

Carbajal Carrera, Beatriz, 2016 Factores de influencia en la comprensión y apreciación del humor en las viñetas cómicas. El caso de Dosis Diarias, Flinders University, School of Humanities and Creative Arts

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Research on failure to process humour is a topic that has received increased attention from Second Language Acquisition research. However, efforts in this field have concentrated on oral humour, while other multimodal genres such as graphic humour have not shared the same interest. This project investigates factors affecting comprehension and appreciation of graphic humour in Alberto Montt’s cartoons.

The aim of this project is to contribute to research by examining the morphology and processing of cartoons through a case-study and by integrating philosophical and linguistic approaches to the study of graphic humour. This case-study approach was adopted in order to: a) analyse the influence of textual configuration in Alberto Montt’s cartoons on the understanding and appreciation of graphic humour, and b) examine the potential relationship between processing phases in graphic humour and language competence. For these purposes, a focus was placed on reported processing phases in the response to Alberto Montt’s graphic humour by native and non-native speakers of Spanish.

Alberto Montt’s Dosis Diarias cartoons were selected on the basis of the different combinations of structures and contents available within this subgenre. These cartoons constituted the text-stimuli that were included in the research questionnaire designed for this study. This questionnaire collected participants' responses to graphic humour in the text-stimulus and data on the reported processing phases in relation to failure or success in the comprehension and appreciation of the cartoons. Working within an integrated Pragmatic and Philosophical approach, and a Discourse Analysis framework, collected data were analysed qualitatively. Specifically, the concepts of cognitive scripts and humour pillars, as well as an adapted taxonomy from Bell and Attardo (2010) were used in order to identify failed humour.

The results obtained in this study have been positive with regards to the objectives set since they confirm that the proposed integrated approach is a promising avenue for future research on the factors affecting success or failure to process graphic humour. Specifically, this integrative model has shed light on the pragmatic-discursive mechanisms that underlie graphic humour because it allows for a more systematic and comprehensive analysis of relevant factors involved in the response to humour in cartoons. Among the contributions presented by this study, the identification of the central role that caricature plays in recognising, understanding and appreciating graphic humour is highlighted. As observed in the results, caricatures have a central role in the response to graphic humour since they operate both at the structure and content levels in cartoons. Based on the findings of this study, recommendations are made for their application in second language pedagogy.

Keywords: cartoons, caricature, graphic humour, humour, understanding, appreciation, failed humour, pragmatics, second language learning, Spanish, viñetas, caricatura, humor gráfico, humor fallido, comprensión, apreciación, ELE

Subject: Spanish thesis

Thesis type: Professional Doctorate
Completed: 2016
School: School of Humanities and Creative Arts
Supervisor: Noemi Dominguez (University of Salamanca) and Olga Sanchez (Flinders University) - Cotutelle