chapter  4
Key Terms in the Field of Humor
ByChristian F. Hempelmann
Pages 15

This chapter looks at studies that have compared key terms in the field of humor meaningfully in few ways. It summarizes various approaches to pinning down and comparing key terms referring to core concepts in the study of language. The main methodological fields here are linguistic semantics, linguistic etymology, and the history and philosophy of science. The main tensions are the transition from the dominance of Latin to the dominance of English and how selected other European languages, like German and Spanish, as well as a few non-Indo-European languages, have contributed, or not, against this background. In the initial study, the alignment and subsequent comparison of the terms for laugh highlighted the existence of specific semantic features that the lexical field distinguishes across the languages under consideration, and several language-specific features. The general hypothesis used in the study was strongly informed by Berlin and Kay's color study.