Mihaela-Viorica Constantinescu

Conventional metaphorical scenarios of humor in Romanian

  • General Psychology
  • Linguistics and Language
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • Language and Linguistics

Abstract The way humorous verbal communication is construed in a linguaculture can be analyzed within the framework of cognitive metaphor theory and its more discursive and cultural developments. Cognitive/conceptual metaphors are instrumental for framing humor as a communicative form which goes beyond mere aesthetic experience. This article focuses on the conceptualization of verbal forms of humor in Romanian. The examples are retrieved mainly from internet mediated communication, backed by corpus analysis, and compared to older literary examples (19th–early 20th century). The examples illustrate the stability of various metaphorical scenarios in the Romanian linguaculture. The analysis reveals that several conventional metaphorical scenarios exist in parallel, displaying what are the functions of humor in an emic perspective. In the case of the Romanian examples, the list comprises the disciplinary, aesthetic, and therapeutic functions. The main metaphorical scenarios are subsumed to (physical) aggression, food, and health domains. The scenarios associated with each domain emphasize a certain function: for example, the disciplinary function of humor relates to physical aggression, while the aesthetic function relates to food. However, the conventional scenarios also show combinations between these functions.

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