Research article
Issue: № 1 (1), 2015


The aim of this publication is to explore the relationship between metaphor and comic effect in order to achieve the understanding of those cognitive processes that are updated during the implementation of evaluative meanings in dialogical discourse. Analysis of dialogical speech produced in the framework of this publication, indicated that the estimated metaphor acquires comic effect, causes laughter of the participants of communication, when their attention is focused on two concepts directly involved in the modeling metaphor. Speaking subject - intentionally or unintentionally - separates the domains that are relevant for the initiation of this metaphor, specially emphasizing the differences of these domains. This creates a voltage between the two input spaces are denoted by their borders, which, in turn, leads to comic effect.

Facts of metaphors generation and initiation of the comic effect of linguistic units have certain structural similarities. In the case of metaphoric nomination and jokes combines two incommensurable concept, but the very nature and purpose of combining in each case are different. Taking into account the structural similarity of metaphors and language units with a comical sense, will try to answer the question: in what case evaluation metaphor becomes a joke, that is, produces a comic effect in the framework of spontaneous dialogue. At the core of our research is the following hypothesis: in order for the metaphor was used in spontaneous dialogical communication in the comic function, it is necessary that the attention of the interlocutors was concentrated on two (or more) spaces entry. This process, in turn, de-automized metaphor and provides the participants with the communication opportunity to emphasize the boundaries between these spaces to provide additional comments regarding their dissimilarity.

Justification of the choice of dialogical interaction's facts between the estimated metaphor and comic effect as the object of the research are to us the following theoretical propositions. First, linguo-cognitive theories of humor are based on identifying the corresponding effect mainly within the framework of the narrative lyrics [1, p. 17]. Research of humorous effect on the level of communication performed in the aspect conversational analysis, as a rule, focused on the structure and function of the analyzed effect, and not the laws of its production [2]. Secondly, the study of conceptual integration in the production process of metaphor in dialogical communication allows us to identify patterns of how integration is implemented in real-time conditions. This, in turn, sheds light on how the evaluation metaphor involved in spontaneous dialogue, as it is interconnected with comic effect.

Metaphorical value, actualized in the process of communication, initiated by introductory spaces, when the boundaries between these spaces reveals some tension. Thus, in example (1) we will illustrate the fusion between the two input spaces. In this case the conceptual integration of spaces creates a comic effect. In this case, the conceptual integration of the fusion "extends" the metaphor to recreate ridiculous similarity between the two input spaces. The reaction of the other person talks about how rarely he feels attracted to and what consequences it brings. Compare:

(1) « (1) “Tell me the phase in which there is sexual activity in your life, and the phases in which there isn’t.” His voice was thick and raspy. How much do you see those in which there isn’t?

She really knew how to answer him:

(2) “Long…”

 (3) “Tell me.”

(4) “What is there to say? To begin with, from one time to the next I forgot what happens. For instance, I forget how it is to kiss someone, honesty…”

(5) “You forget what you’ve learnt the previous tome?” (6) “And they are so mane…”

(7) “Isn’t it like cycling and swimming then?”

(8) “Yes, but cycling and swimming are things you never forget…”

(9) “The truth is that well…”

(10) “Tell me.”

(11) “I have never learnt this particular thing like I can say I’ve learnt to cycle or to swim.”

(12) “Aaah, you never forget these…”

(13) “I know how to cycle and swim, the other thing I never learnt…”

(14) “Yes.”

(15) “I’m using stabilizers and arm-bands…” [3, p. 132].

Replica (9) speaking interlocutor introduces the evaluation metaphor that actually sums up what the second participant of the conversation has said before. Biking and swimming (CYCLING and SMIWINNING) are the types of activity that people do not forget. And the feeling of desire are similarly evaluated. However, this metaphor is not exactly the situation spoken of the participants of communication. In this regard, it gets joint discussion in the further course of the dialogue (lines 8-13).

In the dialogue we observe clarification of the metaphor's meaning. Its original meaning was limited to the designation of what not to forget. Replica (7) the value of metaphor is detailed as follows: what you need to learn to commit. Slot INEXPERIENCE of entering SEX is projected in the integrated space where it is combined with elements, which, in turn, are projected from the input space CYCLING and SMIWINNING (that is, stabilizers and arm-bands. The appearing images (lover with stabilizers or with arm-bands) produce a comic effect.

The Analysis of dialogical speech produced within this article, has shown that the evaluation metaphor acquires comic effect, generates laughter of the participants of communication, when their attention is focused on two concepts involved in modeling metaphors.

Speaking person - intentionally or unintentionally - separates the domains that are relevant to this metaphor, emphasizing the diversity of these domains.  This creates a voltage between the two input spaces are denoted by their borders, which, in turn, leads to comic effect. In dialogical form of communication we can also observe processes of  de-automatization metaphors: the interlocutors, appealing in the subsequent course of the dialogue to one of the input spaces, "destroy" conceptual integration, in which is formed a metaphor. In other words, in the communication there is the reverse process of conceptual integration.

In example (1) metaphorical expressions that generate comic effect, belong only to the input spaces. Reference to the introductory spaces leads to repeated conceptual integration. A similar phenomenon is observed in the process of realization of humor: the addressee is not aware of the ambiguity comic remarks up until in his mind not actualized expression belonging to only one script (the one that was previously implicitly expressed), and not the script, which was explicitly presented. We can say that the comic effect produced by the evaluation metaphor, and other ways of generating this effect combines the phenomenon of sudden realization of duality. In the first case, the generated statement with a metaphorical expression, which is based on two introductory space. In the second case, the text can be interpreted through two dissimilar script.

Our analysis showed that the fusion of input spaces also creates a comic effect in dialogical communication.  In example (1) spawned two conceptual integration, in which mixed domains in order to create comical images. In this case also reveals two main components comic effect - duality and tension between the boundaries of the input spaces. Both the process of conceptual integration differ in dialogical communication sufficient originality, and therefore, fusion of elements projected from input space, creates unique to this communication metaphor. This phenomenon implies the fact that the introductory space is different by activity, necessary for the subsequent tension between these spaces, and hence the subsequent comic effect.


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