Analyzing utterances produced by participants in Reader's Digest's "Laughter, the Best Medicine" using speech act theory

Onggowidjaja, Olivia (2001) Analyzing utterances produced by participants in Reader's Digest's "Laughter, the Best Medicine" using speech act theory. Undergraduate thesis, Widya Mandala Catholic University Surabaya.


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Language has a very important role in people's life. Without it, they will suffer a lot in socializing with their human fellows. It is a purely human and non-instinctive method of communicating ideas, emotions, and desires by means of a system of voluntarily produced symbols (Sapir, 1921:8). Two famous philosophers, J.L. Austin and John Searle, believe that language is also used to perform actions. Based on this belief, they introduce and develop a theory concerning this, namely Speech Act Theory. In this qualitative study, the writer is interested in bringing into view the breakdown of jokes which are in the form of dialogues using Speech Act Theory. The jokes under study are taken from three editions of Reader's Digest (March 2001-ordinary edition, March 2001-special edition, and April edition) and 14 out of 26 jokes are chosen based on Simple Random Sampling. The writer takes jokes as the object of her study because for the time being, there are few studies concerning the analysis of jokes in the field of Speech Act Theory and it is still worth questioning. As the object of her study, the jokes are analyzed based on two major theories, viz Speech Act Theory and Language Function Theory and some minor theories such as The Theory of Humor, Presupposition, and lastly Language and Culture. The result indicates that the type of illocutionary act which most frequently occurs is expressives (36.28%). Directives gains 31.86% from the whole utterances analyzed. The total sum of representatives is 29.20%, while verdictives, declaratives, and commissives have 1.77%, 0.88%, and 0%. Furthermore, the writer also acknowledges that the language function that most frequently appears is emotive (33.33%). Directive function gains 30% and referential function attains 27.50%. Meanwhile, the total portion for phatic function is 6.67% and finally the total sum of the poetic function is 2.50%. The third result indicates that the most frequent roots for being funny are wrong presuppositions, conditions which are completely inconceivable, unexpected and surprising or unpredictable ends that may relieve laughter, and homophones. However, jokes are closely related to culture. In this case, the writer notices that culture can be both specific and universal. Despite the filet that the readers, might have divergent point of view regarding the jokes, their ability to appreciate and enjoy humor is considered as universal. Making statement (or assertions), asking questions, and issuing directives can be regarded as universal too.

Item Type: Thesis (Undergraduate)
Department: ["eprint_fieldopt_department_Faculty of Teacher Training and Education" not defined]
Subjects: English Education
Divisions: Faculty of Teacher Training and Education > English Education Study Program
Depositing User: EK Lengkonosari PN
Date Deposited: 02 Mar 2017 08:42
Last Modified: 02 Mar 2017 08:42

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