虚假语用预设视角下TED演讲的言语幽默分析_英语论文.docx
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Verbal Humor in TED Talks from the Perspective of Sham Pragmatic Presupposition

Abstract

TED talk, with its humorous contents and ingenious ideas, has gained huge popularity among the public. Meanwhile, it also has attracted many scholars’ attention. However, the previous researches on TED talks mostly focused on the fields of translation, English language teaching and intercultural communication. Little attention is paid to the verbal humor in TED talks. 

This thesis mainly studies the verbal humor in the TED talks from the perspective of sham pragmatic presupposition, so as to find out the producing mechanism of humor. The thesis consists of four parts: the first part briefly introduces the origin and development of TED talks as well as its spread in China; the second part and third part respectively elaborate on verbal humor and sham pragmatic presupposition from the aspects of definition and characteristics; the last part analyzes the producing mechanism of humor in TED talks with abstracted examples from the perspective of sham pragmatic presupposition. 

Through the analysis, the author finds that: the speaker consciously utilizes tactics like break of conventional layout of information flow, induction of the audience to misunderstand the intention, shift of sentence focus as well as avail of the illocutionary force of pragmatic vagueness to form sham pragmatic presupposition, treating the unshared information as the presupposed information to set presupposition trap. As the audiences fall into and get out of it, the humorous effects are created. Meanwhile, the author sincerely hopes this thesis can contribute to broadening the research sphere of sham pragmatic presupposition, offering references to further researches and helping readers improve speech capability.

Key words: sham pragmatic presupposition; presupposition traps; verbal humor; TED talks

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