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Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences, 2021, 4(7); doi: 10.25236/AJHSS.2021.040719.

A Study of American Verbal Humor in The Big Bang Theory from the Perspective of Cooperative Principle


Yang Wen

Corresponding Author:
Yang Wen

Beijing University of Technology Beijing 100124 China


Many scholars have conducted extensive and in-depth research on verbal humor from the perspective of pragmatics. However, there are insufficient pragmatic researches on different forms of verbal humor. This paper tries to explore the characteristics of American humor, selecting American verbal humor as research theme, dialogues of the famous American sitcom The Big Bang Theory as research corpus, and the principle of cooperation as theoretical basis. A large number of examples are used in the thesis to explain in detail how the humorous effects of American verbal humor are produced by violating the principle of cooperation. Through analysis, this paper finds the following things. Firstly, in American verbal humor, the humorous effects are often produced by means of ambiguity and rhetoric in dialogue. Secondly, on the subject of humor, American humor tends to produce humorous effects on topics related to religion, sex as well as the relationship between men and women. With the advancement of cultural exchanges between China and the United States, more and more American comedy works have entered the Chinese market. This paper intends to help people improve their understandings of American humor and better feel the charm of American humor so as to achieve better effect in cross-cultural communication.


American verbal humor, verbal humor, Cooperative Principle, sitcom

Cite This Paper

Yang Wen. A Study of American Verbal Humor in The Big Bang Theory from the Perspective of Cooperative Principle. Academic Journal of Humanities & Social Sciences (2021) Vol. 4, Issue 7: 98-104. https://doi.org/10.25236/AJHSS.2021.040719.


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