chapter  1
40 Pages

Humour Studies and Humour Translation

WithMargherita Dore

This chapter provides an account of several scholars’ attempts to define the concept of humour, its use and functions in everyday life and language. In particular, it addresses the relationship between humour and its markers, including laughter. Moreover, it provides the reader with a summary of some of the theories on humour which were mostly developed throughout the twentieth century, including the Semantic-Script Theory of Humour and the General Theory of Verbal Humour. Furthermore, it includes a discussion of important issues relating to the production of humour in conversation, which is particularly relevant because, to some extent, comedy attempts to replicate everyday language and situations. Most importantly, it considers the issues raised by the translation of humour in general by addressing the (im)possibility of transferring it across language and culture. The notion of “functional manipulation” is suggested to explain how humour translation is and can be done.